The only thing I really leaned how to cook as a teen was French bread. My mom makes the BEST french bread. Nothing brings back good memories of home like when I’m baking bread. I added fresh ground wheat to this recipe, but my mom always made it with all purpose for all of the flour. Both ways are delicious. And I make it in loaf pans all the time because it’s easier to plop it in there.:) This is a recipe I’ve shared before, but thought I would bring it back and share again!
If you want the step by step directions with photos, click on the link below. Using a Bosch machine is the key to this bread taking less time. Also, what helps is you don’t have one to achieve these results in the time that I say, is a very warm kitchen. If your kitchen is cold, like mine is all winter and spring, then turn up your heat just a bit to help with the rising. You can also half this recipe and make one large loaf. Just watch the baking time. Happy Baking!
Otherwise, this is a great summary.
3 C Very warm water, divided
2 TBSP Granulated sugar
1 TBSP Salt
2 TBSP Saf Yeast
2 TBSP Olive Oil
6 C unbleached white flour, divided
2 C fresh ground whole wheat flour
Put kneading hook in Bosch. Pour 2 Cups of very warm water, sugar, and salt into Bosch. Pulse a few times.
In a 2 Cup glass measuring cup, fill 1 Cup very warm water. Add yeast. Stir with a wooden spoon and let stand about 5-7 minutes until foamy.
In Bosch, stir the water/sugar/salt combo to make sure it is all dissolved-It usually isn’t, so you need to stir it. Then add the water/yeast combo to the Bosch. Place lid on. Pulse a few times to mix it together. Add the olive oil. Pulse a few times.
Next, add 4 Cups of unbleached white flour. Place lid on. Stir on speed 1 until almost all the way combined.
Then add the remaining 2 Cups of unbleached white flour and the 2 Cups of fresh ground whole wheat flour. Place lid on. Mix on speed 1 until the sides are wiped clean. *If the dough isn’t cleaning the sides/not bulking up, you need more flour. Don’t over mix. If you mix too long, it alters the texture of the bread.
Remove the kneading hook. Using a wooden spoon, push dough to one side, and push down lightly on the top. Replace the lid of the Bosch. Set a timer for 7 minutes. Then lightly push down with wooden spoon on the top of the dough. Repeat this 3 more times. *Note: if your kitchen is very warm, you may need less time. But usually it needs to rise for 25-28 minutes.
On floured parchment paper, turn dough out and divide into three loaves.
Mold with your hands by turning the bread in your hands and tucking under the bottom edges until it forms a loaf. You will need a bit of flour as you do this. Then rub the bottom to make sure the dough is mostly smooth on the bottom too. Use added flour as needed. Give the top of the loaf several good pats to get out air bubbles.
Then place into pans. I use non-stick pans, so I don’t grease them.
Cover with a tea towel, and let rise for 10-15 minutes. Once again, depending on the warmth of your kitchen, the rise time could be different. *I turn on my oven now, so it’s nicely preheated(400ºF; 390° for dark pans).
Once risen, bake at 400ºF for 20 minutes. It should be golden brown on the top and sides.
Immediately take loaves out of pans. Cool on wire rack. Brush softened, not melted, butter on top. (I just stick my hand in a plastic bag, get some butter on the bag, and spread it on the loaves)
Have a wonderful weekend making memories. Maybe even memories of baking bread.
Life is Good. Share the Good.
PS We’re heading out of town for Spring Break and looking forward to some sun and hiking! Anyone heading somewhere fun?
PSS I’m also working on a new website and hopefully will have a better more searchable site within the next month! Exciting times!