Okay. We all know how much I love bread. So very much!!!! I made this and then forgot to take pictures of it… Twice. So there are still no pictures. Shame on me! Either way, here is a recipe for French bread. This was so easy to make, and there is a lot of hands-off time in the recipe, because it has to rise. The next time I make this, I will be SURE to get pictures!
I made this to make into a cheesy garlic pull-apart bread, and it tasted amazing. I took it to a staff party, and the whole loaf was gone in 20 minutes! People loved the garlic cheesy-ness of the bread, but they were also a little flabbergasted that I made the bread myself. Those who know about my blog said “Of course I made the bread myself”, and weren’t surprised.
I found the original recipe here, and it is SO easy and SO rewarding. I think this will be a new regular loaf of bread in my house, especially when we have pasta!
Yield: 2 loaves of bread
2¼ c. warm water
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. active dry yeast
¾ tbsp. salt
2 tbsp. oil (olive, canola, etc.)
5½ – 6 c. flour
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the water, sugar, and yeast. Let sit for 3-5 minutes to activate the yeast, until it is bubbling and foamy.
Add the salt, oil, and 3 cups of flour. Mix, adding in the extra flour a little at a time, until you get a dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl into a ball that is soft, yet leaves very little dough residue on your fingers. Knead for 2-3 minutes until the dough is soft and smooth.
Lightly grease or oil a bowl (I just take the dough out of my mixer bowl and oil that) and turn the dough to coat, then cover with a layer of greased plastic wrap and let sit in a warm spot in your kitchen to rise until doubled, about 1 hour or so.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly greased surface and divide in half. Pat each section into a thick rectangle (about 9×13). Roll the dough up starting from the long edge, pressing out air bubbles, and pinch the edge to seal. Arrange seam side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
To avoid the risk of your bread deflating, slash gashes in the top of your loaves now. (I don’t have a baker’s lame, so I do it now. If you have a baker’s lame, wait to cut the bread.)
Cover formed loaves with greased plastic wrap, and let the loaves rise until noticably puffy, and almost doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Slash the loaves (if you haven’t already), and place in the center rack of the oven. To get a super crispy crust, you can throw a few ice cubes on the bottom of your oven (but look at manufacturer’s recommendations first!) or spritz the loaves with water before closing the oven door. Personally, I just spray down the loaves with water, because I’m renting a house and don’t want to buy a new oven just in case!
Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden and baked through. Remove from oven and let cool before slicing or turning into cheesy garlic pull-apart bread! (Which might just be my next post!!)