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January 7, 2011

Homemade French Bread

I have to confess that this was the first time I made French Bread this way. I typically use my breadmaker to mix/knead the dough and do the first rise. Well, my breadmaker died on Christmas Eve (with our Christmas breakfast in it!) With the encouragement of a few friends, I held my breath while my stand mixer did the kneading for me making dinner rolls and pizza dough for us. I decided I could maybe live without my breadmaker! So, here goes my first attempt at French Bread using my stand mixer!

For this recipe you will need the following:
1.5 teaspoon dry active yeast
1 1/4C warm water (not hot, just warm - you're using it for yeast. I read a great comment once - yeast is alive, be kind to it!)
3.5C bread flour (I always use unbleached all-purpose with no problem)
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar (I use honey and it tastes so much better, but this is a personal preference!)

Later, you will need 1 egg & 1 Tablespoon water (not pictured)

If you are using a breadmaker for the dough, put the ingredients in the breadmaker in the order suggested by the manufacturer. Hit dough & go about your day until the dough is done.

For a stand mixer, you need to pour in the warm water and the yeast. Let it sit for approximately 10 minutes (until it starts to froth).
While you wait...
Ahem...back to the dough. Add in your flour (look at this cute little lady! The hubs got me these adorable measuring cups for my birthday! They're nesting dolls & they totally make my kitchen happier!)
So there's your flour...
Mix it up a bit (lock the mixer & use speed 2).
Add in your salt...
And the honey. You're right, I don't measure that deliciousness!
Mix it for approximately 5-10 minutes until a ball forms.
Mine was still in need of a bit more flour...
Grease a bowl and let rise in the oven for approximately one hour.

Once it is done in the oven, punch it down...
Divide it into two halves....
and roll it out.
Roll the dough jelly-roll style
Talk to your kitchen helper...
Place on your baking sheet and make 3-4 slashes on each loaf with a sharp knife.
Return the loaves to the oven to rise for another 30-45 minutes
Pull them out and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat the loaves with the egg/water mixture I mentioned earlier (I like to add a couple dashes of garlic salt to mine).

Bake for 20-25 minutes then cool on a wire rack so they don't get soggy.

Enjoy with some tasty lasagna or spaghetti, or if you're a bread addict like myself - throughout the day as a little pick me up!


Kim ~ One Nutty Mama said...

Yum, I am going to make this recipe! We are bread addicts in this house. My family loves it fresh from the bread machine. But I would love to make some bread this way. I am going to have some hot for my older two when they get home from school. Fresh baked bread is one of their favorite treats after school.
I love those measuring cups.

M and M said...

I have been thinking about this bread since I read the post...I AM going to try it soon. Anyone try it??

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