So, back to French Bread!! I love, love, love a loaf of homemade bread. Probably my favorite thing to bake and they sure don't last long around here - so it's probably a good thing I only bake bread once or twice a month! This is a simple and delicious French Baguette recipe I've used a couple times now. French bread smells SO heavenly when it's baking... mmm... not to mention it is delicious to eat just about any way you can imagine it - by itself, with some butter, nutella, some jam, baked with butter, cheese and garlic... just to name a few!
Start with hot water, bread flour, bread machine yeast, salt and sugar.
Since I used bread machine yeast I skipped the proofing stage and mixed water, flour, yeast and salt together.
Next came the sugar!
That was put on a low speed setting with the dough hook and I used a spatula to help most of the flour combine.
Once most of the flour was combined I set a timer for about 8 minutes and let it run.
Dough ball! Ready to rise!
I pulled the dough out and oiled the bowl and then replaced the dough.
Rolled the dough ball to coat and covered.
I put it in a cool oven with a bowl of hot water underneath it and allowed it to rise for a half hour.
30 minutes later the first rise was complete!
The dough was placed on a floured surface.
Then rolled out into a large rectangle.
I used a pizza cutter to split the dough in half.
Lightly greased a large baking sheet.
And then rolled each smaller rectangle up.
Carefully tried to blend and pinch the seams shut as best I could.
Two loaves, ready for their second rise!
Added the diagonal slits.
After the dough rose again, I separated an egg and decided to use the white for the wash.
2nd rise was complete!
Brushed with the egg white.
25 minutes later two beautifully browned loaves emerge!
Tender and chewy!
I really like this recipe - this one came out a little denser than I would like it to have been, but the taste is wonderful and I'm sure I probably either didn't kneed it enough or let it rise long enough - as much as I enjoy baking bread I know I have a lot to learn still! :)
French Baguettes Recipe by from AllRecipes.com
Yield: 2 small loaves
- 1 cup water
- 2 1/2 cups bread flour
- 1 tablespoon white sugar (or Stevia)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
- 1 egg yolk (or egg white)
- 1 tablespoon water
- Combine the water, yeast, and sugar and allow to proof for about 10 minutes (or until creamy/slightly bubbly) in the bowl of a Kitchen Aid mixer. Then add the salt, then flour and use a dough hook and mix until no longer sticky, adding additional flour as needed to obtain an elastic dough.
- Remove dough and lightly oil the Kitchen Aid bowl (wipe out/clean first if necessary). Place dough in bowl and turn once to coat. Cover, and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes, or until doubled in bulk. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.
- Punch down dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll into a 16x12 inch rectangle. Cut dough in half, creating two 8x12 inch rectangles. Roll up each half of dough tightly, beginning at 12 inch side, pounding out any air bubbles as you go. Roll gently back and forth to taper end. Place 3 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Make deep diagonal slashes across loaves every 2 inches, or make one lengthwise slash on each loaf. Cover, and let rise in a warm place for 30 to 40 minutes, or until doubled in bulk.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix egg yolk (or white) with 1 tablespoon water; brush over tops of loaves.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.