Thursday, January 20, 2011

French Bread


This recipe came from my sister-in-law--thanks Heidi!  It's a wonderful, easy basic bread that goes great with any meal, especially soups!  It makes 4 loaves, so make sure you have a large capacity mixer--I use a Bosch.  I suppose you could cut it in half and make 2 loaves, but the bread freezes wonderfully (as dough or cooked), and it's always nice to make a little extra to give to a neighbor!

French Bread

2 Tbsp. yeast
1 cup warm water
Dissolve yeast in water.  Set aside.

1/2 cup sugar
4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup oil (I have used canola and olive oil--both work great!)
4 cups hot water
Mix together in mixer.

6 cups flour
Mix into water mixture.  Add in yeast mixture.

6 1/2 cups flour
Add to mixer slowly and knead for 2 minutes (you may need to add more flour if it's too sticky).

Place dough in large greased bowl.  Cover with a towel and let rise until double.  Punch down and divide into 4 pieces.  Roll each piece into a rectangle, then roll up and shape into a loaf.  Place 2 loaves on ungreased cookie sheets and let rise another 1/2-1 hour.  Place a few shallow slits in the top of the loaf with a sharp knife (I do this before I let it rise). 

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  Brush with butter while hot.

Note: Brushing the bread with butter after it is baked makes the crust soft.  If you want a crunchier crust, brush the loaves with an egg white wash right before putting them in the oven.  Egg white wash: wisk together one egg white and 1 Tbsp. water.

No comments: