Wednesday, March 24, 2010

French Bread

I made French bread!! I'm so happy about it and most of all because it turned out! Yay! The inside even looked all swirly just how it's suppose to. I thought French bread would be intimidating, but honestly the recipe was very simple. I always have these ingredients on hand so I think I'll be making these loaves a lot.

French Bread

6 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons SAF yeast (or other instant yeast)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
2 1/2 cups hot tap water
2 tablespoons canola oil

In the bowl of an electric mixer (I love my Bosch!) mix together flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Add water and oil and beat for 3 minutes on high. Let dough stand for 10 minutes in the mixer and then mix again; repeat this process 5 times (that's a total of 6, 3 minute mixings, and 6, 10 minute restings).

Turn dough onto a surface that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray (spray your hands too). Knead dough into a smooth ball and divide into 2 equal parts. Roll each part into a 9x12 inch rectangle then roll up like a jelly roll and pinch ends to seal the dough. Arrange dough loaves lengthwise onto greased cookie sheets. Cover lightly with kitchen towels or with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Let rise for 30 minutes.

With a sharp knife, cut gashes at an angle on the top of the loaves and brush entire surface of loaves with an egg wash (1 egg beaten with some water). Bake immediately at 400 degrees for 22-25 minutes. Remove from cookie sheets and let cool on wire racks.

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