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French Bread-How to Make it!

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This evenly textured, crusty Homemade yeasted french bread tastes fantastic and cuts like a dream! Delight your family with this loaf buttered. OR brush it with olive oil and bake as a crostini. French bread makes lovely sandwiches, paninis and toast. The possibilities are endless!

French Bread

Delicious soft loaf with a crusty top. Wonderful for table, sandwiches, Crostini

I make homemade  bread for my family. Pretty much all the time. My purpose is to save money and feed the family with the highest quality food I could.

Baking from scratch was a real help keeping our tiny food budget in line for a family of seven. Baking bread from freshly ground wheat berries, with all natural ingredients made sense back then and it still does.

With all the worry about what’s in our food; there is one sure way to know what you eat. Go to the source! We bought wheat berries from trusted sources, like our local organic flour mill. We stored them in airtight, five gallon buckets. Those wheat berries are still good all these years later!French Bread

We grind up the berries with our electric grinder and I make loaves of delicious bread. If you’re gonna go carby, make it worth it!!

Honestly, bread is so versatile. You can make a zillion different tastes, textures and uses for bread in it’s various forms and flours. Need some bread making tips?  Try my Homemade Whole Wheat Bread  recipe. It has an extensive tutorial full of tips on the bread making process!


Today, I’m Following a French bread recipe from ‘Baking Bread, Old and New Traditions’ by Beth Hensperger, available on Amazon. She knows bread! I read this book occasionally just for the fun of it. A beautifully illustrated book on the history of grains and historical methods of bread making worldwide, and so much more. It’s a gem of a book!French Bread

FRENCH BREAD RECIPE NOTES:

Don’t let the long recipe scare you. Bread making is a long, but not difficult process. Making bread takes time, but not a lot of effort. If your up for the challenge go for my Sourdough Artisan breads. A much bigger commitment but if you’re reading this recipe I’d suggest you check our beginner sourdough Artisan bread recipe out.

Source good ingredients like high quality flour and yeast. Then get ready to spend the day in your kitchen amongst heavenly smells. Baking bread is always popular in our house. We love the homey warm feeling and amazing flavor freshly baked bread adds to our meals.

French Bread

Crusty on top and soft in the middle. Delicious!

The only process picture I’m giving you today is this one. Seeing the dough helps you know what you are attempting to achieve when kneading your dough. This recipe is easy, so just follow the directions.

Also, I used the Standard baking method on a baking sheet. And this dough rose twice.

French Bread dough

This is my bread dough for this recipe. Resilient, easy to handle, soft but not sticky!

You can make this loaf by hand kneading, or do as I did and use your stand mixer. The recipe is pretty self explanatory, so Let’s get started!

Instructions:

I used my stand mixer for this recipe, you can make this by hand if preferred.

In a large bowl or stand mixer, sprinkle yeast and sugar over the warm water. Stir until combined and let sit 10 minutes.

Add 2 Cups of the bread flour and salt.

Beat hard for 3 minutes until smooth.

Add remaining 1 cup of bread flour and most of the all purpose flour 1/2 Cup at a time, mixing between additions. (to avoid flour dust everywhere!)

The dough will form a shaggy mass and clear the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until the dough becomes soft, silky and resilient; about 5 minutes. Add flour to prevent sticking. This is not a sticky dough! This process takes about 5 to 10 minutes on low in your stand mixer.(make sure you have a mixer strong enough to make bread dough.)

Place the dough in a greased deep bowl and turn once to coat the top.

Cover and let rise in a cool place, (I set mine on my counter), until TRIPLE in bulk, about 11/2 to 2 hours.

Punch it down and let it rise again for about an hour. The dough may also rise overnight in the fridge.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface and divide into three equal portions.

Knead in more flour if the dough seems sticky.

For Boules, Form into tight rounds.

For baguettes, flatten each portion into a rectangle. Roll the rectangle up tightly with your thumbs to form a long sausage shape; roll back and forth with your palms to adjust the length of the loaves.

(For the egg glaze)

Whisk all the ingredients together until foamy.

Brush onto uncooked dough for a shine and to help seeds stick to the dough

Place the loaves 4 inches apart on a greased or parchment lined baking sheet, sprinkled with cornmeal.

QUICK BAKING METHOD:

Directly after forming the loaves, slash the tops diagonally with a serrated knife, no deeper than 1/4 inch and brush the entire surface with an egg glaze. Place in a COLD oven on the middle or lower rack. Turn the oven to 400 degrees F and bake 35 to 40 minutes or until crusty.

STANDARD BAKING METHOD:

Loosely cover the loaves with plastic wrap and let rise until puffy and doubled, about 30 to 40 minutes.

Preheat a baking stone at 450 degrees F., for at least 20 minutes. if desired.

Slash the bread tops with a serrated knife, no deeper than 1/4 inch.

Brush the entire surface with the egg glaze.

Move the loaves to the baking stone if using.

Turn on the oven to 400 degrees F. and bake for 35 to 40 minutes until crusty and hollow sounding when tapped.

 NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION:

105 CALORIES/serving

  • FAT                    1 %    1 g
  • CARBS               6%   12 g
  • PROTEIN          7%     4 g

Your Printable Recipe:

French Bread
Yield: 30 slices

French Bread Recipe

Prep Time: 3 hours 25 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours

This evenly textured, crusty Homemade french bread tastes fantastic and cuts like a dream! Delight your family with this loaf buttered. OR brush it with olive oil and bake as a crostini. French bread makes lovely sandwiches, paninis and toast. The possibilities are endless!

Ingredients

  • 11/2 Tablespoon, 11/2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 Cups warm water, 105 to 115 degrees F
  • 3 Cups unbleached bread flour
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 3 Cups all purpose flour, approximately
  • ! Tablespoon Cornmeal for sprinkling, approximately

Egg Glaze

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl or stand mixer, sprinkle yeast and sugar over the warm water. Stir until combined and let sit 10 minutes.
  2. Add 2 Cups of the bread flour and salt.
  3. Beat hard for 3 minutes until smooth.
  4. Add remaining 1 cup of bread flour and most of the all purpose flour 1/2 Cup at a time, mixing between additions. (to avoid flour dust everywhere!)
  5. The dough will form a shaggy mass and clear the sides of the bowl.
  6. I used my stand mixer for this recipe, you can make this by hand if preferred.
  7. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until the dough becomes soft, silky and resilient; about 5 minutes. Add flour to prevent sticking. This is not a sticky dough! This process takes about 5 to 10 minutes on low in your stand mixer.(make sure you have mixer tough enough to make bread dough!)
  8. Place the dough in a greased deep bowl and turn once to coat the top.
  9. Cover and let rise in a cool place, (I set mine on my counter), until TRIPLE in bulk, about 11/2 to 2 hours.
  10. Punch it down and let it rise again for about an hour. The dough may also rise overnight in the fridge.
  11. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and divide into three equal portions.
  12. Knead in more flour if the dough seems sticky.
  13. For Boules, Form into tight rounds.
  14. For baguettes, flatten each portion into a rectangle. Roll the rectangle up tightly with your thumbs to form a long sausage shape; roll back and forth with your palms to adjust the length of the loaves.
  15. Place the loaves 4 inches apart on a greased or parchment lined baking sheet, sprinkled with cornmeal.

QUICK BAKING METHOD:

  1. Directly after forming the loaves, slash the tops diagonally with a serrated knife, no deeper than 1/4 inch and brush the entire surface with an egg glaze. Place in a COLD oven on the middle or lower rack. Turn the oven to 400 degrees F and bake 35 to 40 minutes or until crusty.

STANDARD BAKING METHOD:

  1. Loosely cover the loaves with plastic wrap and let rise until puffy and doubled, about 30 to 40 minutes.
  2. Preheat a baking stone at 450 degrees F., for at least 20 minutes. if desired.
  3. Slash the bread tops with a serrated knife, no deeper than 1/4 inch.
  4. Brush the entire surface with the egg glaze.
  5. Move the loaves to the baking stone if using.
  6. Turn on the oven to 400 degreesF. and bake for 35 to 40 minutes until crusty and hollow sounding when tapped.
  7. (For the egg glaze)
  8. Whisk all the ingredients together until foamy.
  9. Brush onto uncooked dough for a shine and to help seeds stick to the dough

Nutrition Information


Amount Per Serving Calories 105

Did you make this recipe?

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Simple homemade french bread-pin image

With a satisfyingly crunchy crust and a soft, flavorful inner texture this french bread is incredibly versatile. It makes an amazing sandwich bread, a tasty piece of toast and even crostini’s. #frenchbread #easy #recipe #ideas #loaf #homemade #artisan

Soft homemade french bread recipe-pin image

This evenly textured, crusty Homemade yeasted french bread tastes fantastic and cuts like a dream! Delight your family with this loaf buttered. OR brush it with olive oil and bake as a crostini.

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Mayuri Patel

Thursday 2nd of June 2016

I love your quick baking method as I don't have a pizza stone. I'll try the method for a crunchy crust . Baguettes look just like the ones I've seen at French bakeries.

Diane

Thursday 2nd of June 2016

Thank you Mayuri! How lovely that you have been to France and seen French Bread in the original. I am so glad you are making this recipe. Please stop back by and let me know how it turns out for you!

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