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This French bread recipe is probably the easiest bread recipe to make. It is so simple!
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Bread Making Hints:
Secrets to using the bread machine,
About yeast in bread making, and
Sourdough Starter - How to make a Sourdough Starter.
Sourdough Bread Recipes and
Quick Bread Recipe for all your bread making.
Authentic French Bread
Yields: 1 loaf bread
Prep time: 15 min
Rise time: 1 to 3 hours
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 4 hour
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F.)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups bread
3 teaspoons Instant Active Dry
Yeast (I use
SAF Instant Active Dry Yeast)
Cornmeal (optional for dusting pan)
Bread Machine Recipe:
Add all the ingredients except cornmeal in the bread pan of bread machine. Process according to manufacturer's instructions for a dough setting.
NOTE: Don't be afraid to open the lid and check the dough. It should form a nice elastic ball.
When the bread machine has completed the dough cycle, remove the dough from the
pan to a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough several times and form the dough into an oval; cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 10
to 15 minutes.
NOTE: Check the dough (don't be afraid to open the lid). It should form a nice
elastic ball. If you think the dough is too moist, add additional flour (a tablespoon at a
time). The same is true if the dough is looking dry and gnarly. Add warm water (a
tablespoon at a time). If you can't judge your dough by looking, stick your finger in and
feel the dough. It should be slightly tacky to the touch.
Standup Mixer Recipe:
In a large bowl or in the bowl of a 5-quart stand mixer, add
all the ingredients except cornmeal. Using dough hook, mix everything together into a uniform dough.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until elastic, about 15 minutes.
NOTE: In an electric mixer, it should take about 9 minutes.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
dust your hands with flour to keep the dough from sticking to you.
Kneading Dough Hints and Tips -
After resting, knead dough (see kneading tips below) on a lightly-floured board by pulling the dough towards you and then pushing down and forward with the palms of your hands
(kneading gives the bread the elasticity and lets it rise).
Gather the dough into a rough ball and place on your floured work
knead, you will use only the heels of your hands. Push down on dough
with your hand heels.
dough in half. Turn the dough about 45 degrees and knead with your hand
heels again. Continue to knead, fold and turn the dough for the required
length of time or to the consistency suggested. I usually knead the
dough around 5 minutes. Well-kneaded dough should feel smooth and elastic.
Press your fingertip into the dough; it should spring back.
Dough Rising - Place the dough in a lightly-oiled large bowl. Place a damp towel over the bowl and then cover with plastic wrap
(the humidity in the bowl helps in the rising process). Let rise until it doubles in volume (when you can put your finger in the dough and it leaves and indentation
and doesn't spring back out) approximately 4 to 8 hours (depending on the temperature and the starter used, the rising time can vary as much as 2 hours).
Oven Bread Rising: Sometimes I use my oven for the rising.
Turn the oven on for a minute or so, then turn it off again. This will
warm the oven and make it a great environment for rising bread. If you
can't comfortably press your hand against the inside of the oven door,
the oven is too hot. Let it stand open to cool a bit.
Cool or Refrigerator Bread Rise: If I don't have the time to
wait for the rise to finish or I know that I will be interrupted before
the completed rise, I do a cool rise. A cool rise is when the dough is
place in the refrigerator and left to rise slowly over night
approximately 8 to 12 hours. I usually do this after the first rise and
the dough has been shaped into a loaf.
Preparing the dough for baking - After dough has risen, remove from bowl, and place on a lightly-floured board. Knead in flour to feed it one more time before baking.
Shape dough into a loaf shape and place on a cookie sheet that is dusted with cornmeal or use the
Silicone Baking Mats I personally recommend that you use the
Silicone Baking Mats as nothing sticks to them. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise until doubled in size,
approximately 1 to 3 hours.
Baking the bread - Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. After rising, slash the bread with a
bread razor (lame) or a very sharp knife making three 1/2-inch deep diagonal slashes. Brush or spray the top of the bread with cold water
and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until nicely browned. A good check is to use an instant
digital thermometer to test your bread. The temperature should be between 200 and 210 degrees.
is the type of cooking and meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking. I get many readers
asking what cooking/meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking and baking. I, personally, use the
Thermapen Thermometer shown in the photo on the right. Originally designed for professional users, the
Super-Fast Thermapen Thermometer is used by chefs all over the world. To learn more about this excellent
thermometer and to also purchase one (if you desire), just click on the underlined:
When the bread is cooked, remove from oven and place the bread on a
wire cooling rack to cool. Let baked loaf cool for 30 minutes before cutting
(this is because the bread is still cooking while it is cooling).
Makes 1 large loaf.
NOTE: This is a typical mixture that professional bakers use to get that characteristic
sheen on breads. I keep this mixture in my refrigerator to use on all the breads I bake.
1/2 cup cold water
1 teaspoon cornstarch
In a small saucepan, with a small whisk, stir together
water and cornstarch. Heat mixture to a gentle boil. Stir, reduce heat, until mixture
thickens and is translucent. Cool.
Brush on loaf about 10 minutes before baking is
finished and again 3 minutes before bread is completely done.
Bread - Nutritional Information
I cannot guarantee the accuracy of the below
information. All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a
substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should
seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician before
starting a new fitness regimen.
Yeast, Bakers, rapid rise or instant
of Bread Total
Your homemade bread may be used on your diet. Just weigh your bread slice on a digital
scale for a 1-ounce slice. Typical loaf of bread = 14 slices.
1-ounce slice = 2.5 fat grams,
21.7 carb grams, 97.5 calories