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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

French Bread

I like rainy days.  It gives me an excuse to stay inside and bake all day.  I find making bread therapeutic and haven't made it in a while can all guess what I did!  Marlina made bread the other day so I've been craving it ever since.  I've tried various French bread recipes but like this one the best.  The results are superb.  It yields 2 large loaves-about 15-18 inches in size and leaves a nice crunchy shell with a soft, chewy centre on the inside.  Gavin came home from work while I was snapping pictures and waited impatiently for them to be finished.  Between him and me, one loaf did not last long at all!  Which makes me feel like a pig....thank goodness I went for a run earlier! :) 

I have plans for the other loaf, so stay tuned!  Looking at the weather forecast is quite depressing...I love one day of rain...not 3 or 4!  And of course it has to rain on my days off! 


French Bread
Makes 2 loaves

6 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons (1 package) of active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups warm water, approximately at 110 degrees F

1 tablespoon cornmeal
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water

Grease a large baking sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal.

In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, combine 2 cups flour, yeast and salt.  Stir in 2 cups warm water, and beat until well blended. Continue to add 1/2 cup of flour at a time (I used 5 1/2 cups flour) until the dough has formed under the hook and cleans the sides of the bowl. If it feels sticky, add a small amount of flour.

On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until it is smooth and elastric-about 8-10 minutes total. Shape into a ball and place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap and a towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled-approximately 1-1 1/2 hours.

Punch the dough down and divide in half.  Turn out on a  lightly floured surface.  Cover and let rest of 10 minutes. Roll up, starting from a long side. I got 16 inches for each piece. Moisten edges with water and seal. Taper ends and lengthen each piece of dough under your palms to 15-18 inches,

Place loaves seam side down on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly beat the egg whtie with 1 tablespoon of water, and brush on. Cover with a damp cloth. Let rise until nearly doubled approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees while the bread is rising. Make 3 or 4 diagonal cuts approximately 1/4 inch deep across each loaf. Bake for 20 minutes. Brush again with egg white mixture and bake for an addition 20-25 minutes, or until bread tests done. To prevent over-browning, you may cover loosely with foil. Remove from oven once completed and cool on wire rack.

Source: Slightly adapted from AllRecipes.


  1. wow that looks delicious! thanks for sharing! glad i found your blog! gorgeous photos!

    1. Aww thank you for your kind words!! <3

  2. Beautiful loaf! I love fresh, homemade bread, but it's getting warm enough here that I hesitate to turn on the oven. Looking forward to seeing what you do with the other loaf! :)

    1. Thanks Willow! I love it too, it's so much better than store bought. It is getting warm here but with all the rain we've had it's hard not to bake! Hahaha:P

  3. I made french bread the other day, but was stupid and started a mini fire and basically ruined by bread. Hah. Yours looks perfect! I'll have to try the recipe since my french bread cravings have obviously not been fulfilled.

    1. Alexandra-That's terrible! I'm so sorry to hear that! I hope you have better luck next time, but I know you will. You are one amazing baker, girl!



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