Sunday, May 8, 2011

French Bread

When I was younger some friends and I used to go over to a ladies house from church and she would teach us how to bake. One of the things we made was bread which was always fun punching down the dough and kneading it. If we got to use our hands and get dirty we were in. I really have not made much yeast bread in my life to be honest it kinda scared me. I always thought yeast was so touchy and didn't want to ruin the bread or waste all those ingredients. Recently, I had a day off work and decided I was going to bake some bread so I just googled French Bread and found a recipe I thought sounded easy and went with it courtesy of All Recipes.

French Bread
Yields 2 loaves

  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon water


  1. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, yeast and salt. Stir in 2 cups warm water, and beat until well blended using a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, knead in enough flour to make a stiff dough that is smooth and elastic. Knead for about 8 to 10 minutes total.Shape into a ball. Place dough in a greased bowl, and turn once. Cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled.
  3. Punch dough down, and divide in half. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into 2 oblong rolls. Grease a pan and sprinkle with cornmeal. 
  4. Lightly beat the egg white with 1 tablespoon of water, and brush on. Cover with a damp cloth. Let rise until nearly doubled, 35 to 40 minutes.
  5. With a very sharp knife or scissors, make 3 or 4 diagonal cuts about 1/4 inch deep across top of each loaf. Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) oven for 20 minutes. Brush again with egg white mixture. Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until bread tests done. Remove from baking sheet, and cool on a wire rack.
Blend Water, Flour, salt and Yeast Until forms a dough ball
Knead into a ball and place in a greased bowl turning once

Let Dough Double in Size
Think of something that irritates you and let out a little aggression by punching down the dough ( my favorite part!)

Roll into 2 oblong rolls and cut 3 or 4 diagonal slits about 1/4 inch deep and place on a greased cookie sheet sprinkled with cornmeal

Let dough rise about 30-40 minutes

Bake for 15-20 and cool on the rack, but not for too long because you will need to cut a piece for yourself to enjoy! I honestly could not stop eating this bread it was so delicious. That night I wanted to use my bread for something else so I made my Fettuccine Alfredo and then whipped up some garlic toast with my fresh crusty French bread. 

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