Monday, April 20, 2015

Easy French Bread

                 I was about to head out to mow a small strip of lawn in our back yard when I popped a piece of french bread into my mouth. I stopped, turned around, and walked straight to the computer to get this recipe up. I have so many recipes to share..I promise to get caught up soon! The weather will be turning next week and with the rain means more days in side and being able to catch up on my blogging.

This recipe is really easy! I know I say that a lot but I really don't make complicated recipes. They might have many steps but that doesn't mean it's hard and the more you work with yeast the less intimated you become by it. Even if your bread comes out wonky..and let me tell you, I still bake up wonky loaves, no body is going to care. I promise. There is no shame in funny shaped loaves. It's bread and it's good.

French Bread

5-1/2-6 cups All-purpose Flour
4-1/2 tsp. Active Dry Yeast
1-1/2 tsp. Salt
2 cups Warm Water

In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook,add in 2 cups of the flour,the yeast,salt,and warm water. Turn the mixer on low and mix until combined. Turn the mixer on to speed 2 and add in 3 more cups of flour slowly. Knead for 7 minutes and adding in additional flour as needed until a smooth and elastic dough is achieved. Shape into a bowl and place into a lightly greased bowl,turning once to coat. Cover and allow to rise in a warm spot until doubled in size,about 1 hour.

Gently deflate the dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Cover and rest for 10 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Roll each portion into a 15x10 rectangle. Roll up,jelly roll style,starting from the long side,pinching the seam shut. Pinch the ends and pull slightly to taper. Place seam side down onto prepared sheet. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rise till nearly doubled in size,35-45 minutes.

Preheat oven 375/190. Uncover loaves and lightly mist the tops with a spray bottle. Using a sharp knife, make 3-4 diagonal cuts about 1/4 inch deep across the tops of each loaf.

Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown and bread sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

** If you want a shiny crust,skip the misting of water and use an egg wash on the loaves before slicing**

Cool on wire rack

Yield: 2 Loaves
Source: Better Homes and Garden The New Cookbook