Thursday, September 2, 2010
I've tried a few French Bread recipes and felt a little so-so about them. Then I tried this one from Melanie at Mel's Kitchen Cafe. It is so good. Nathan and I just snack on the bread throughout the day. Even Rachel, my non-carb loving girl, loves this bread. It takes about 2 1/2 hours to make and you kind of have to babysit it for the first hour or so, but I'd say it is worth it. It is really good.
by Mel's Kitchen Cafe
2 ¼ c. warm water
2 T. sugar
1 Tbsp yeast
1 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp oil
5 ½ -6 cups flour-stirred before measured
Dissolve sugar and yeast in the warm water. Let this proof—or sit for a few minutes until it bubbles. 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 (I think I use about 5 3/4 cups). 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 (this is a little frustrating because the dough always seems to shrink back to a ball, just keep working with it). 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 (Mine always sticks unless I spray the pan with cooking spray and sprinkle a very generous amount of corn meal on the pan), 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 (I use my fileting knife, but a nice steak knife would work also). Cover lightly; allow to rise 30 minutes. Brush entire surface with egg wash (one egg beaten slightly with 1 Tbsp of water) (In my picture you can see where the I missed the bread with the egg wash). If desired, sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees (Mine only needs 25 minutes, sometimes less, or it will burn).
For a printable version click here.