Wednesday, July 30, 2014

French Bread

Crusty, chewy, delicious French Bread.  This bread is so easy to make and no fancy ingredients- just your basic flour, water, yeast.  What's not to love?

French Bread

2-1/2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons yeast
 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
7 cups flour

Dissolve yeast in water.  Add sugar, salt and 2 cups of flour.  Mix until well combined.  Add the rest of the flour one cup at a time until the dough comes away from the side of the bowl and is no longer sticky.  Let knead for 5 minutes.  Place in a greased bowl, cover with a towel or plastic wrap and allow to rise 30-45 minutes or until doubled in size.  Punch down dough.  Divide in half, form each piece into a loaf.  Place on a greased cookie sheet.  Cut evenly spaced shallow cuts diagonally on the top of each loaf.  Let raise until double (about 30 minutes).  Place a pan of hot water on lowest shelf of oven.  Bake bread at 450 degrees for 10 minutes then reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for 20-30 minutes or until bread gives a hollow sound when tapped.

NOTE:  This bread goes stale after about a day or so. Makes delicious French Toast.

 You've seen how I make breads in a Bosch, today I'll show you how in a Kitchen-Aid.
Into the mixer bowl, pour your warm water (about the temperature you'd wash your hands in-not too hot, not too cold)
 Add the yest
 The yeast should bubble like this.
 Now add the sugar and salt.  Yes- 1 tablespoon of salt, really.
 Add 2 cups of flour, mix well.
Continue to add in the rest of the four
 When using a Kitchen-Aid, you have to flip the dough every so often in order to get a uniform knead.
 Continue adding flour until the dough is no longer sticky and it pulls away from the side of the bowl.
Let it knead for 5 minutes.
 Transfer dough to a large greased bowl
 Cover with a flour-sack towel or plastic wrap.
 Wait about 45 minutes for the dough to double in size.
 Punch down the dough
 and form it into loaves.  I like two big loaves, but you can also make hoagie-size, or even roll-size.
 Slice shallow diagonal cuts into the top of each loaf, about every inch or so.
 Cover your loaves and allow them to rise until double in size, about 30-45 minutes.
There's a lot of waiting when you make bread. 
 Once the loaves are risen and ready,
Place a pan of hot water into the bottom of a preheated 425 degree oven, and bake the loaves at 425 degrees for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake 20-30 minutes more.  
DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR or you bread will fall.
 You'll know they're ready when the loaves have turned a golden brown color, and they give a hollow sound when tapped.

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