Monday, March 24, 2008

French Bread





I love this cookbook. It really is a beautiful recipe collection filled with happy artwork and yummy food. The recipe I use the most is the French Bread Recipe. It is so easy and so good.



Go on, get your flour and mixer and let's get baking!



French Bread





2 Tbl rapid rise yeast



2 Tbl sugar



1 Tbl salt



2 1/2 c warm water



7-9 cups of flour



1 egg white, beaten




In a large mixing bowl combine yeast, sugar, and salt. Stir in warm water to dissolve Add 5 cups of the flour. Using the dough hook attachment, mix on high until well blended. Add as much of the remaining flour as needed to make a smooth and elastic dough, kneading about 5 minutes. I add about 1/4 cup of flour at a time.


Place dough in a greased bowl, turning the dough to coat all sides. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double, about 45-60 minutes.


Punch down dough and knead lightly.


Shape into two long rolls and place each roll on a greased cookie sheet, or baguette pan. Cut shallow slits at 1" intervals along the top of the bread. Brush with egg white and let rise again until double in size, about 20-30 minutes.


Bake in a preheated oven at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking another 15 minutes.


Cool slightly before cutting to serve.


***


That's the official recipe. From there, I have a lot of fun. I add dried herbs and seeds,
make different shapes,
braid it,
put in in three 9x5 inch loaf pans for sandwich bread,
turn it into rolls, use whole wheat flour, or combinations of flours and I've never had a bad loaf.
I gave away my bread machine after making this a few times because it was easier and always had excellent results.


Have fun!

4 comments:

Melissa @ Breath of Life said...

I will definitely try it!

I see you're reading "The Simple Life". You'll love it. It was a life-changing book for me.

I'm on Shelfari, too!

Lady Laurie said...

This bread looks so good ~ I can't wait to try it.
I admire your blog, its so lovely and such a gentle retreat.

topaztook said...

Looks good; it's making me hungry. Who is the author of that book?

Thanks for commenting on my Frugal Friday post about register receipt surveys.

And what a lovely Easter card you found.

kathi said...

I haven't made bread in many years..because I love to eat it! :) Your recipe looks too good to pass up, I will have to put it on my to make list :) Thanks for sharing.

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