I realized this week that I've never shared my favorite french bread recipe on the blog, which is a shame because it's so perfect and tasty! Tonight we're having spinach quiche (and I'm even attempting a homemade crust a la these pasties), and I decided some french bread would be perfect to accompany it, so here we are.
Although the recipe isn't as hands off as most of my bread recipes, it's super easy (I just set the timer on the microwave to remind myself to come in at 10 minute intervals) and achieves consistently great results. Seriously, it looks as good as store-bought bread, and tastes much better. Delicious! I'm going to spend the evening slathering thick pieces of bread in the tasty homemade peach jam I made earlier this week...
Mel's Kitchen Cafe
2 1/4 c warm water
2 T sugar
1 T yeast
1 T salt
2 T oil
5 1/2 - 6 cups flour
Dissolve sugar and yeast in the warm water. Then add salt, oil and 3 cups of flour and beat well. Add in 2 1/2 -3 more cups of flour. The dough should clean off the sides of the bowl and not be too sticky – but be careful not to add too much flour. Knead for a few minutes. Leave the dough in the mixer to rest for 10 minutes and then stir it down (turn on your mixer for 10 seconds) and then allow to rest another 10 minutes. Repeat for a total of 5 times. Then turn dough onto a floured surface and divide into two equal parts. Roll each part into a 9×13 rectangle. Roll dough up, starting from long edge of loaf to seal. Arrange seam side down on large baking sheet that’s been sprinkled with corn meal, allowing room for both loaves. Repeat with second part of dough. With a sharp knife, cut 3 gashes at an angle on the top of each. Cover lightly; allow to rise 30 minutes. Brush entire surface with egg wash (one egg beaten slightly with 1 Tbsp of water). If desired, sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.
You can see that I'm such a rebel that I cut four slashes into the top of my loaves instead of three (I walk on the wild side). Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly!
Hungry for more from The Baker Upstairs?