Thursday, July 22, 2010

French Bread

I recently made this bread to go with the French Onion Salisbury Steak, but I have made it several times over the past few years for other meals as well. It is just a basic, simple dough, nothing complicated about it. It yields two nice loaves, with great flavor and texture that is versatile enough to accompany a variety of dishes. I had a few slices leftover that were delicious just broiled with some sharp cheddar cheese for a few minutes.

I forgot to take pictures until we had already nearly eaten the first loaf, which was the prettier one, but that's just the way it goes.

Recipe: (adapted from Allrecipes)

1-3/4 c. warm water (110-115°F)
1 dry yeast
1 T.sugar
1-1/2 t. salt
2 T. olive oil
5 c. all-purpose flour (I used part whole wheat, 3 cups)
1 T. milk (for brushing on top)
Sesame seeds (optional)

Dissolve yeast and sugar in water in a large mixing bowl. Add salt and olive oil. Add flour slowly and mix until well combined. If using a dough hook, mix for 6-8 minutes.....if not, knead by hand for 6-8 minutes. Put in a greased bowl, cover with a damp towel or greased wax paper and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 40 minutes.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half. Roll each portion into a 12-in. x 10-in. rectangle. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seams to seal.
Sprinkle a greased baking sheet with cornmeal if desired (I left out the cornmeal); place loaves seam side down on prepared pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 20 minutes.
Brush milk over loaves. With a sharp knife, make four shallow slashes across the top of each loaf. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks.

Note: If you toss a few ice cubes in the oven while the bread is baking, the steam will help create a crisp crust while leaving the inside nice and tender. You can do this several times during the baking period if you want.

1 comment:

  1. This looks like a wonderful bread, Rebekah! And... love the ice cube idea -- good thinking.


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