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Old 11-30-2020, 11:34 PM   #1
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French Bread??

https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/sesame-french-bread/

I tried this recipe, but it didn't taste like the French bread made in Jr. High. I would try to find my home economics teacher if kids still had that class.

Bread came out moist (maybe underbaked) on inside, and crispy on outside. I expected it would be dryer inside and with larger air pockets and webbing. Also lacked salt and cornmeal type flavor. This was all pretty solid. I replaced canola oil with olive oil because it's what I had, and I imagine traditional French bread probably existed before 1970s when canola oil was first used. I was confused by putting cornmeal on first, then egg white which wipes it away. And the instructions mentioned a baking sheet and a pan.

Any tips or clarifications for this recipe?

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Old 12-01-2020, 12:30 AM   #2
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That doesn't look like a traditional "French bread". They usually don't have any fats or sugars added - this is something that will make the crumb tighter, and less open, as you noted. And that isn't much salt for that amount of flour - 1 1/2 tb would be better. And you'll get better flavor with longer rising times - I almost always start it at least the day before (with much less yeast). And French bread isn't normally brushed with egg white - that was something for helping the sesame seed stick, but usually plain French bread is sprayed with water, or steamed, in commercial ovens. And the cornmeal is supposed to be sprinkled on the greased pan, not the bread itself - it's just on the bottom, more for helping the bread come off the pan or stone, not so much for flavor.
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Old 12-01-2020, 06:18 AM   #3
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I can't say for sure on the ingredients. I agree with pepperhead though, it doesn't sound like the French breads I've ever made. It just sounds like a regular bread recipe baked outside a loaf pan.


They grease a sheet-pan, which is not necessary, as they are sprinkling cornmeal on the pan, not the bread, to help remove it. To me, the sticking of the cornmeal to the greased pan is more liable to burn.

Also they do say to put the egg wash on first and then the sesame seeds. This gives an entirely different finish to the bread.
You could still try adding a pan of water to the bottom of the oven for steam. I do that and I actually use a spritzer on the bread and into the oven for steam.

The use of the words pan and sheet are, in this case, are meaning the same thing, a sheet-pan.

I also feel that 400 is not really hot enough for traditional french bread - 450 or ?? I think is more in line with crusty french breads.

Probably the most "french" part of this bread is the slashes on top, and yeah, ok, the corn meal.
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Old 12-01-2020, 08:15 AM   #4
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Home Economics teachers today are generally referred to as "Family Consumer Sciences" instructors. (FCS Teachers) This started in 1994
to broaden the scope of Home Economics with the objective of building more functional families with the changes of time.

FCS:

Quote:
Family and consumer sciences is the comprehensive body
of skills, research, and knowledge, with a dedicated focus
on helping families and individuals make informed decision
s about their well-being, rela
tionships, and resources to
achieve optimal quality of life. The field is unique as it re
presents multiple disciplines,
including human development,
personal and family finance, housing and interior design, f
ood science, nutrition, and wellness, textiles and apparel,
and consumer issues.


It sounds like Jr High was a ways back with canola just becoming available. I'm sure some of your ingredients today may have a different flavor quality and I'm thinking the yeast contributing to that most of all.
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Old 12-01-2020, 10:18 AM   #5
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The French have more than one type of bread. If you are looking for a baguette the of bread, you need a different recipe.

https://www.kingarthurbaking.com/rec...guettes-recipe
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Old 12-01-2020, 11:46 AM   #6
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Nothing at all like the recipe I use for French bread/baguette and I've made plenty. Over 100 loaves a few years ago to help a friend with a fundraiser project.

My recipe only includes flour, water, salt, sugar and yeast. After I form the loaves, I slash them and brush with an egg white wash. Sometimes I add sesame or poppy seeds. Depends on the mood I'm in.
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Old 12-01-2020, 02:07 PM   #7
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Home Economics teachers today are generally referred to as "Family Consumer Sciences" instructors. (FCS Teachers) This started in 1994
to broaden the scope of Home Economics with the objective of building more functional families with the changes of time.

FCS:





It sounds like Jr High was a ways back with canola just becoming available. I'm sure some of your ingredients today may have a different flavor quality and I'm thinking the yeast contributing to that most of all.
I was in 7th grade in 1994. Still was home economics at my school. And obesity rates have only increased after that. Not sure the nutrition stuff sunk in.
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Old 12-01-2020, 02:10 PM   #8
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This recipe also wasn't clear on the amount of flour that is to be used. Basically 4 cups to start and eyeball it after that? I think I settled at approximately 6 cups but prefer a definite number.

As far as salt. How much is too much? A friend tells me it kills the yeast.
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Old 12-01-2020, 02:30 PM   #9
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Nothing at all like the recipe I use for French bread/baguette and I've made plenty. Over 100 loaves a few years ago to help a friend with a fundraiser project.

My recipe only includes flour, water, salt, sugar and yeast. After I form the loaves, I slash them and brush with an egg white wash. Sometimes I add sesame or poppy seeds. Depends on the mood I'm in.
Do you slash and egg wash before the last rise?
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Old 12-01-2020, 03:49 PM   #10
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Do you slash and egg wash before the last rise?
I slash and egg wash after I put the dough in the pan and, yes, before the last rise.

I use my microwave as a proofing box. While I shape the loaves, I heat a cereal bowl full of water on HIGH power for 4 minutes. I leave the bowl of hot water in the microwave as the dough completes its final rise.
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Old 12-01-2020, 04:28 PM   #11
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Cooking4Fun wrote:

Quote:
I was in 7th grade in 1994. Still was home economics at my school. And obesity rates have only increased after that. Not sure the nutrition stuff sunk in.
Not long before you were born soft drink companies began using HFCS to sweeten those beverages. Soft drinks have since been a leading cause of child obesity due to all of the sugar they contain.

You were sort of in on the ground floor with High Fructose Corn Sweeteners and by 1988 the practice of "free refills" began to become common at fast food places. So I'm sure you saw obesity on the move.

It wasn't until 2004 that the book "Super Size Me" was published and chronicled the food industry's technologies which led to the epidemic of obesity that you witnessed.
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Old 12-01-2020, 09:27 PM   #12
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I use my microwave as a proofing box. While I shape the loaves, I heat a cereal bowl full of water on HIGH power for 4 minutes. I leave the bowl of hot water in the microwave as the dough completes its final rise.
Brilliant. I never thought of this but I'm on it for my next loaf. Thanks Katie.
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Old 12-01-2020, 11:23 PM   #13
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Cooking4Fun wrote:



Not long before you were born soft drink companies began using HFCS to sweeten those beverages. Soft drinks have since been a leading cause of child obesity due to all of the sugar they contain.

You were sort of in on the ground floor with High Fructose Corn Sweeteners and by 1988 the practice of "free refills" began to become common at fast food places. So I'm sure you saw obesity on the move.

It wasn't until 2004 that the book "Super Size Me" was published and chronicled the food industry's technologies which led to the epidemic of obesity that you witnessed.

I might have pop like a ginger ale once a week or month tops. Would be nice if they had a plain sugar version. By the way Taco Bell started the free refill thing. But in any event. HFCS shouldn't cause obesity if students understood nutrition and to avoid most sweeteners. The DNA damage can speed along senescence which increases aging and inflammation which isn't yet reversible.
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Old 12-02-2020, 01:10 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Cooking4Fun View Post
I might have pop like a ginger ale once a week or month tops. Would be nice if they had a plain sugar version. By the way Taco Bell started the free refill thing. But in any event. HFCS shouldn't cause obesity if students understood nutrition and to avoid most sweeteners. The DNA damage can speed along senescence which increases aging and inflammation which isn't yet reversible.
There are often plain sugar versions of soft drinks available during Passover. Look for the ones that are kosher for Passover. A friend told me about that when I mentioned that I didn't like the updated versions of Coca Cola.
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Old 12-02-2020, 07:09 PM   #15
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Must French bread be moisturized as it bakes or just during proofing?
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Old 12-02-2020, 07:46 PM   #16
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Must French bread be moisturized as it bakes or just during proofing?
Moistures in the oven creates a bread with a harder/crispier crust. I think the bowl of water in the microwave was to provide constant heat to help rising, not moisture for the dough.
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Old 12-02-2020, 07:46 PM   #17
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Must French bread be moisturized as it bakes or just during proofing?
I've never added moisture as it bakes. Always seems to come out great.
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Old 12-08-2020, 10:00 PM   #18
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https://www.food.com/recipe/traditio...h-bread-460085

Tried this recipe. Looks good, but didn't really brown at all. What controls the browning?
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Old 12-09-2020, 02:57 PM   #19
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Tasted it. Tastes same as the non-french french bread and was densely packed and moist. Not at all what I was hoping for except the outside appearance which seemed correct besides being pale after 30 minutes baking.
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Old 12-11-2020, 08:07 AM   #20
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Tasted it. Tastes same as the non-french french bread and was densely packed and moist. Not at all what I was hoping for except the outside appearance which seemed correct besides being pale after 30 minutes baking.

Try recipes from better sources

The NYT no-knead bread recipe has been around for many years and it’s foolproof and terrific

https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/...no-knead-bread


King Arthur’s recipes are well-tested. This one takes some work but comes out great

https://www.kingarthurbaking.com/rec...guettes-recipe
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