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Homemade French Bakery Bread

Wednesday's French Country Recipes

· Decor and Styling

"This Homemade Bakery French Bread can be done in a little more than one hour which means you can have hot, fresh bread straight out of the oven when the kids get home from school even if you don’t start baking until afternoon."

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons Yeast
  • 1/2 cup Warm Water
  • 2 cups Hot Water
  • 3 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons Salt
  • 1/3 cup Oil
  • 6 1/2 cups Flour
  • 1 Egg for brushing on bread

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve your yeast in ½ cup warm water. Make sure that your water is warm (not too cold, not too hot). Let proof for 10 minutes.
  2. In a separate mixing bowl, combine hot water, sugar, salt, oil and 3 cups of the flour and mix together. Add the yeast mixture to a bowl.
  3. Add the remaining 3 1/2 cups of flour, one cup at a time, mixing after each addition. Watch for it to start pulling away from the bowl to know it's ready. Once all of the flour is added, let sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Separate your dough into 3 pieces. On a floured surface roll each piece into a 9x12 rectangle. Roll it up like a jelly roll. Shape into a french bread loaf and smooth out edges.
  5. Place the dough on a greased baking pan or a Silpat, seam side down. Using a knife, make 3-4 diagonal cuts about 1/4 inch thick in bread. Brush with your beaten egg.
  6. Let dough rise uncovered for 30-40 minutes in a warm place.
  7. Bake at 375 for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Making sure the yeast proofs is essential. Using fresh yeast is important and mixing with warm water (not too hot, not too cold) will ensure success. Yeast loves sugar so add a pinch of sugar to the mixture. Let it work for about 10 minutes.
  • Adding flour one cup at a time is important so you can see when the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. That’s when you know it’s ready. Put flour down on the counter so the dough doesn’t stick. That isn’t fun. I love my Bosch mixer and can find a great deal on one below.
  • The loaves don’t have to look perfect. I rolled these babies in 7 1/2 minutes flat before I sprinted to my little girl’s performance. Don’t forget to make 3-4 diagonal cuts with a sharp knife before placing on silpat or greased cookie sheet. These silicone baking sheets make it so easy to remove the bread from the baking sheet. Let rise for 30-40 minutes.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 18-22 minutes until lightly golden brown. Watch it carefully to turn a light golden brown color.
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