Thursday, February 9, 2012

French Bread

If you could smell my house right now you would find it hard to resist cutting into these warm loaves of freshly baked homemade French Bread.  I plan to make some garlic bread out of this to go with our spaghetti dinner tonight.

French Bread

2 C. Hot Water
3 T. Yeast
2 T. Sugar
1/4 C. Margarine or Butter
6 C. Flour
2 tsp. Salt

In a mixing bowl combine hot water, yeast and sugar.  Using a whisk mix all the ingredients together.  Thinly slice the butter into the hot water mixture and let it stand for a minute.  Using the whisk again blend in that butter.  The hot water will melt in nicely.  Add flour and then salt.  Using a fork stir your dough.  You may have to get your hands down into the dough to combine the last little bit.  Your dough will look like this......
Spray some cooking oil on a sheet of plastic wrap and loosely cover the bowl. Set it aside and let it rise until double in size.  Like this.....
Punch this dough down and using a very small amount of flour, just enough to keep the dough from sticking, cut in half and roll out into 2 loaves. 
I have this pan that I use for french bread, but before I got the pan I used a cookie sheet, it worked just fine.  Just be sure to spray whatever you are using with a non stick spray.  I like to cut some slits in the top of the bread like this.....
I bake breads and rolls all the time and I will admit that I never double rise, however if you want this french bread to taste and look and feel like french bread then it is absolutely necessary to take the time to do a double rise.  When it has doubled in size it will look like this.....
Place in a 375* oven for 25-30 minutes.
 Loaves will be nicely browned and have a hollow sound when you thump them.
Good Luck keeping this bread in the house.  It gets eaten around here as fast as I can make it.  This is great for all kinds of things like grilled cheese, croutons, french bread pizzas, let your imagination go wild!

I would love to know if you have tried this recipe and what you think about it! 

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