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Old 04-12-2015, 10:30 PM   #1
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French bread....?

Hi, all. I recently got brave and made powerplant's hamburger rolls , and now I have 2 envelopes of yeast left, and a lot of flour. I thought it would be fun to try making a loaf of French bread.

Does anyone have a simple tried and true recipe for this? I'd rather it not involve potato, or herbs, just something easy to try for my first time. I've looked online and there are tons, but thought I'd check here with my friends first.

I don't have to have a stone, do I? Also, I've read that misting with water in the oven occasionally, will give me that nice crust I'm hoping to get. Is this true?

Thank you in advance for any advice you can give me. Please keep in mind I'm really new at this.

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Old 04-12-2015, 10:45 PM   #2
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Oh, I meant to add this, but it's too late for me to edit....I don't have a Kitchen Aid mixer or bread maker machine. I won't mind kneading by hand like my mom and gma used to do.
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Old 04-12-2015, 10:49 PM   #3
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Cheryl, you don't have to use the yeast right away. You can store it in your freezer for later use. I bake all our bread products and buy yeast by the pound and keep mine in a tightly-sealed glass jar in the freezer. Go thorough about 5 pounds per year.

I have a good recipe for French bread and will share it with you in the morning. I don't have it at my fingertips and it's nearly bedtime in my time zone. But, suffice it to say, it must be good because I was asked to make some for a university fundraiser last fall. In about three weeks I made 93 loaves of the stuff. You'd think I'd have the recipe memorized after that.

I use my bread machine to knead the dough and to put it through the first rise, then shape the loaf by hand and allow to rise for its final time in the usual manner.

And, no, my recipe doesn't call for any tools that wouldn't be found in any ordinary kitchen.

See you in the morning.
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Old 04-12-2015, 10:51 PM   #4
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This is the one I use: French Bread
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Old 04-12-2015, 11:03 PM   #5
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Thank you so much, Katie and Princess. I know it's late in most members areas...I'll check back again in the A.M.
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Old 04-13-2015, 01:23 AM   #6
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I assume that by "French Bread" you mean baguettes (there is more to French bread than just long and skinny). This recipe isn't exactly simple, but it's not terribly difficult either. It just takes attention to the times specified for resting and rising. I've found with this site, if you follow the process directions pretty closely, the bread comes out really good (this recipe may seem to have more rises than most, but that just creates more flavor by giving the yeast more time to work) - I get raves for the ciabatta I make from his recipe. This recipe can be either made into baguettes or boules (round free standing loaves). If there are terms or processes that stump you, explore the site for answers.

http://artisanbreadbaking.com/bread/french_baguettes/

A word of caution, he has recently reorganized the site and some of the links in the recipes are broken. The information is still there, but you have to find the correct link in the menu on the Techniques page of the site.
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Old 04-13-2015, 03:18 AM   #7
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When I think of a French bread I think of a bread that is about as long and about as wide as a regular loaf of bread, but it's not the same shape. I may be mistaken, but I think a baguette is made with the same dough, it's just longer and skinnier.

Here's a picture from a local bakery, Première Moisson. I would call the one on the far left a baguette and the one next to it a French bread or French loaf.

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Old 04-13-2015, 10:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taxlady View Post
When I think of a French bread I think of a bread that is about as long and about as wide as a regular loaf of bread, but it's not the same shape. I may be mistaken, but I think a baguette is made with the same dough, it's just longer and skinnier.

Here's a picture from a local bakery, Première Moisson. I would call the one on the far left a baguette and the one next to it a French bread or French loaf.

The two loaves stacked in the center of the photo are (or look like) boules.
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Old 04-13-2015, 12:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPCookin View Post
The two loaves stacked in the center of the photo are (or look like) boules.
They may well be called that in other French speaking places. They did start out round / ball shaped. It's usually called a "miche" here in Quebec.
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Old 04-13-2015, 01:19 PM   #10
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I didn't forget you, Cheryl. My morning just filled up before I knew it. But, here's my recipe:


KATIE’S FRENCH BREAD
(Makes 2 loaves)

1 1/3 cups water, slightly warm
2¼ tsp. granulated sugar
1¼ tsp. salt
4 cups bread flour
2¼ tsp. active dry yeast
1 egg white, slightly beaten, for glazing loaves
Cornmeal, for baking sheet

In the work bowl of your bread machine combine the flour sugar, salt, yeast and water. Set the machine on the DOUGH cycle.

When the bread machine has finished, remove the dough to a lightly floured surface and allow it to rest, covered, for about 5 minutes.


After it has rested, divide it into two equal portions and shape into a long rope, about 14 inches long.


Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet that has been very lightly sprinkled with cornmeal. Make sure the loaves are several inches apart because they will expand during their final rise.


Either cut one long slash lengthwise or 5 equal slits slightly diagonally across the loaves. Brush with egg white and put in a warm, draft-free place to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.


Bake in preheated 400˚F oven for 25 minutes or until deep golden brown.

P.S. It freezes very, very well.


I've always used bottled spring water in my bread recipes. That is because most of the water where I've lived has been so chlorinated that is reeked of bleach or had iron or other components it just seemed not right to me. You make the call.

Most of the time I make the 5 diagonal slashes and use my sharp kitchen scissors to do the cuts. Again, your call.

The bread is ultra-easy and sooo yummy. You'll want to have some right out of the oven with real butter.

And, guess what, my profressor friend called me yesterday to see if I would be willing to pursue another French bread marathon for his students to raise money for a trip they will be taking to Italy in December? Couldn't say no. Here I go again.

My best day last time was 12 loaves in 8 hours. That's only because I had both my bread machines going at the same time with staggered finish times.

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