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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Easy French Bread

I am still working on making breads this year.  I actually made this bread months ago and forgot to write it up.  But fresh bread is great any time.  This is a French bread that bakes a little different from the other breads I have made this year.  I don't think mine turned out that pretty but it tasted really good, especially with a little butter.
I couldn't wait to cut it and try it with some butter while it was warm.  Because I cut it so soon it got a little smooshed on bottom.  When It had cooled a little more later on it cut easier and looked much better. 
This recipe doesn't use much.  Basically things you have around the house except maybe for the yeast. Pick up some yeast the next time you are in the store to have on hand.  It has a great shelf life and you never know when the urge to make fresh bread might hit.
Start with the yeast 1 pkg which is equal to 2 1/4 teaspoons
1 teaspoon sugar.  The sugar helps the yeast grow.
1/4 cup warm water.  (105-110 degrees) Let the yeast stand for about 5 minutes until bubbly.  If the yeast doesn't start to bubble and foam throw it away and start over.
Now in the bowl of the mixer, add 1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons warm water
3 1/2 to 4 cups all purpose flour.  Start with 3 1/2 cups and work up if you need to add some more if the dough is sticky.
Mix well and knead for 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth.  Cover and let the dough rise until doubled about 15-20 minutes.  During the summer I like to rise my dough in the garage where it is warmer than the house.
While the dough is kneading separate an egg.  You are going to need the white.
Add 1 Tablespoon water to the egg.
Lightly flour your surface, and place your dough our on the counter.
Roll the dough our into a rectangle.  Or you can cut the dough in half and make two loaves.
Roll the dough like you are making cinnamon rolls.
Place on a sprayed cookie sheet.  Turn the end under and place the seams on bottom.
Cut three slits on top.
Brush with the egg white/water mixture.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Boil water to put in a pan.  Place both in the oven and turn the oven off.
Allow to rise for about 20 minutes.  Remove the pan of water.  Leave the bread in the oven and turn oven on to 425 and bake bread for 10 minutes.  Reduce temp to 375 and bake for another 6-8 minutes or until the bread is golden brown.
Remove from the oven and let cool if you can before cutting and enjoying with a little butter.

Easy French Bread Recipe

1/4 cup warm water 105-110 degrees
1 pkg yeast  2 1/4 teaspoon
1 teaspoon sugar
31/2-4 cups all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons warm water
1 egg white + 1Tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 300.  Place rising bread and pan of hot water.  Turn oven off.  Let rise 20 minutes.  Remove pan of water. Turn oven on to 425 and bake bread for 10 minutes.  Reduce heat to 375 and bake for 6-8 minutes longer. 

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