Why I Love This Recipe
My son introduced us to this French bread recipe. It is a simple recipe and quickly becoming a family favorite. The recipe will make 2 loaves. We like to use large bread pans when forming and rising the dough, but it is not required.
Ingredients You'll Need
• 2 cups warm water (About 110 degrees Fahrenheit)
• 1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
• 2 ½ teaspoons sugar
• 5-6 cups flour
• 2 ½ teaspoons table seat or fine sea salt
• 1 teaspoon olive oil
• (optional) 1 egg
• (optional) 1 teaspoon water
• Grease bread pans or cooking sheet (again, my family’s preference is to use bread pans)
• In a small bowl, combine warm water, yeast, and sugar. Stir slightly. Let sit for 5 minutes or until mixture begins to foam.
• Place 2 cups of flour in large mixing bowl and add salt.
• Stir in yeast mixture and begin to knead dough by hand (or – if using a mixer with a dough hook, use that)
• Add ½ cup of remaining flour at a time until dough smooth but not sticky. (when I last made this bread, I stopped at 5 cups of flour)
• Form the dough into a ball within the bowl.
• Rub the olive oil around the dough ball and let it rise for 15 minutes
• Divide the dough in half.
• Place one half of the dough on a floured surface. Roll into rectangle. Starting from long side, roll dough into a cylinder
o If using bread pans, ensure the rolled dough is not longer than the bread pan. Place the rolled dough into the pan
o If using a cooking sheet, turn both ends in and pinch the seams closed. Round the edges and place on baking sheet
• Repeat the prior step for the second half of dough.
• Let the dough rise for 30-45 minutes.
o In the first picture, I’m using a “proofing method” supported by my oven. The oven is set to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. If your oven does not support steam, you can fill a casserole dish with water and place on the rack below the bread. This simply adds humidity and helps optimize the rising process.
• Make 3 diagonal cuts across the top of each loaf.
• Remove the dough after the rising period.
• Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
• Optional – separate egg white into a small bowl and add 1 teaspoon water. Whisk the ingredients together. Using a brush, spread on top of the bread loaves.
• Bake for 17-20 minutes
• If you’ve cooking in a bread pan, lay the bread pan on it’s side when cooling, switching to other side after 5-7 minutes and remove from bread pan after 10-15 minutes.