Friday, February 19, 2010

French Bread

I found this recipe in the manual that came with KitchenAid Stand Mixer several years ago. It's a classic, rustic French Bread recipe that is unbelievably easy (at least in the realm of bread making) and tastes fantastic. There is something so earthy and natural about making homemade bread and the smell of a fresh loaf baking in the oven can't be beat.

  • This recipe makes 2 large loaves. You can freeze one, but I don't think French bread tastes nearly as good after it's been frozen. If you won't eat them both, I'm sure a neighbor or a friend would be happy to take one off your hands!
  •  You can add herbs, minced garlic or grated cheese to the egg wash mixture for a more flavorful bread. If you're unsure about what would taste good, brush one loaf with the plain egg wash and then mix seasonings in with the remaining mixture to brush on the second loaf. Parmesan, garlic powder and oregano work well together.
  •  If you are using Instant Rise Yeast that doesn't need to bloom in water that's fine. You still need to dissolve it in the 2 1/2 cups of warm water for this recipe though.
  • During the colder months it can be hard to find a warm, draft free place for the dough to rise. I usually put a tea towel in the dryer before I start mixing the ingredients. Once the dough is mixed I loosely cover it with plastic wrap and then wrap the entire bowl in the warm tea towel to insulate it.

French Bread

2 packages active dry yeast 
2 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon melted butter
7 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons white cornmeal

Egg Wash
1 egg white
1 tablespoon butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 tablespoon cold water


Dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed mixer bowl. Add salt, butter, and flour. Attach bowl and dough hook to mixer, turn to Speed 2 and mix about 1 minute or until well blended. Continue to knead on Speed 2 for about 2 minutes longer. Dough will be slightly sticky.

Put dough in a large greased (I use olive oil, but cooking spray works as well) bowl, turning to coat. Cover and let rise in warm place, free from draft, about 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk. Punch dough down and divide in half.Roll each half into 12" x 15" rectangle. Roll dough tightly, from longest side, tapering ends, if needed/wanted. Put loaves on greased baking sheets that have been dusted with cornmeal. Cover and let rise in warm place, free from draft, about 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk. With sharp knife, make 4 diagonal cuts on top of each loaf. Bake at 450F for 25 minutes, then remove from oven. Beat egg white, melted butter and water together and brush each loaf with this mix. Return to the oven and bake 5 minutes longer. Immediately remove from baking sheets and cool on wire racks.


Miss Meat and Potatoes said...

This looks fantastic. Your blog is so comforting! Just found it on FF:)

Valerie said...

I feel like I can smell it!! Definitely going to have to try this!! I too love the smell of bread baking! Hoping over from Friday Follow and now I am following you!!

~Kristen~ said...

Thanks for visiting and following my blog! I am now following you, too! How fun that we are both being published in the new autumn GBP book!!! I am so excited and can't wait till the book comes out!!! Looking forward to reading more of your blog and trying some of these yummy sounding recipes!!!

Kristen :-)

Denise said...

Stopping by from Friday Follow to say Hi!
I am adding you so I can come back & read more!
Please stop by!

Kelly's Lucky You said...

My husband loves to make bread and I love to eat it, hehehe. I'm passing on this recipe to him, thank you!

I found you through Friday Follow - nice to meet you!

Would you follow me back?

Kelly from Kelly's Lucky You

Heather McDougle said...

Sounds yummy!

I'm following you from Friday Follow!

joeandbridge said...

Hi There! I am participating in my first Friday Follow. I have a brand new blog-I hope you can visit! I now follow and subscribe! Thanks!
Bridgette Groschen
The Groschen Goblins

Erin said...

Following you from Friday Follow. The bread looks so yummy!

Life Is A SandCastle said...

Friday Follower! Looking forward to your tasty posts.

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