Remember that yummy soup recipe I posted last week? It was really good, but the homemade French bread we enjoyed with it made it about a million times better!
I’ve tried quite a few different recipes for French bread, and I don’t know if they just weren’t that great, or if I was just a horrible baker, but they always ended up awful. The crust would be too thick and dark and the inside was almost all air and very little bread.
This recipe is different. I’ve already used it to make multiple loaves, and it has made perfect bread each time! I found the recipe via pinterest, and it’s from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. I altered it just a bit by adding some whole wheat flour in with the white flour.
Wheaty French Bread
2 ¼ Cups warm water
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon yeast
1 Tablespoon salt
2 Tablespoons oil
2 3/4 Cups white flour
3 Cups white flour
Knead your dough for a few minutes. Shape it into a ball and leave it in the bowl to rest. For the next 50 minutes, punch your ball of dough down every 10 minutes. Continue to shape it back into a ball after each round of punches.
Prepare a baking sheet by spraying it lightly with cooking spray and dusting it with corn meal. Place the rolled up loaves seam side down on the baking sheet.
***The hubs and I CAN NOT eat two loves of bread alone. So, at this point I didn’t place my second loaf on the baking sheet. Instead I rolled it up in a couple layers of plastic wrap and put it in the freezer to bake later. If you decide to freeze your second loaf, just take it out of the freezer a few hours before you want to bake it***
Cut three small slits in your dough. (Believe me, these slits should be small and not deep… You’ll see why later.) Cover it and allow it to rise for about 30 more minutes. If you want to, you can brush the loaf in an egg wash after it rises. I have done it with this and without it, and it works well either way.
Now, put that loaf in the oven at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.
We had this with soup one night, and a week later we cooked up the other loaf and ate it warm with strawberry jam for a night time snack!
-The Wheaty French Bread Baking Kelley
P.S. As always, I can’t vouch for the complete accuracy of the wonderful Sparks Recipe calculator, but here is what it says about this recipe: