Saturday, January 17, 2015

French Bread

A site that I frequent recently posted a recipe for French Bread.  I found it very similar to my everyday recipe, with only slight differences.  Bread is so easy to make, everyone should be doing it.

Anyway, I posted The Prairie Hometead's recipe, and then my recipe alongside, just for fun.  And then I baked a loaf using my recipe.  Because I find it hard to make a change when something works great every time.    And because, "If it ain't broke..."

An actual loaf of what my recipe produces.

French Bread

Ingredients (Prairie Recipe)                            (Mon Abri Farm Recipe)

1 1/4 cup warm water (80-90 degrees)        1 1/3 Cup
                                                                      3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
2 teaspoons sugar                                             1 Tablespoon

1 teaspoon sea salt                                            Same

3 to 3 1/2 cups flour                                          3 1/4 Cups (or more if needed)

1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast                    1 1/2 Tablespoons (but I never really measure it)

Instructions (same for both recipes, but add the olive oil to the liquids)

1.Place yeast and sugar in large bowl
2.Stir in warm water until everything dissolves
3.Add salt, and stir in as much flour as you can to create a soft, pliable dough that isn't too sticky
4.Knead on a lightly floured surface 6-8 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic
5.Return dough to bowl and cover with kitchen towel
6.Allow to rise 30 minutes or until doubled in size
7.Plop risen dough back on counter top and divide in half
8.Roll each half into a rectangular shape of about 10" by 8"
9.Roll up rectangle starting with a long side
10.Pinch ends to seal and shape into a "log"
11.If seam doesn't stick, use wet fingers to moisten dough until it adheres
12.Grease pizza stone or stoneware baking sheet and place loaves on it to rise another 30 minutes
13.Preheat oven to 375 degrees,
14.Optional: to give loaves a shiny brown finish prepare an egg wash by beating one egg with one tablespoon of water
15.Right before you pop loaves in oven, brush tops with egg wash and make 4 diagonal slashes across top using sharp, serrated knife
16.Bake 20-25 minutes, until golden brown
17.Allow to cool on wire racks before serving
18.Serve warm with lots of butter

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