Thursday, December 5, 2013

Homemade French Bread (the BEST recipe!)

I already have another recipe for homemade french bread on this blog, and I still love it.  It is simple to make and gets the job done.
This bread, on the other had, is heavenly.  It is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.  It pairs so well with everything and freezes so well.  It take a little more time than the previous recipe, but it is still simple and worth the extra time.

This recipe makes two loaves of bread.

2 packages (4 1/2 tsp) active dry yeast
1/2 C warm water
1/2 tsp sugar

2 C boiling water
2 TBSP sugar
2 TBSP vegetable oil or butter
2 tsp salt
7 1/2-8 C all-purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
2 TBSP milk

Dissolve the yeast and 1/2 tsp sugar into the 1/2 C warm water in a large mixing bowl.
Combine the boiling water, 2 TBSP sugar, vegetable oil, and salt.  Allow it to cool to room temperature-lukewarm.
Mix together the two wet mixtures and the flour either by hand or with a large mixer with the dough attachment.
Knead by hand for 10 minutes or in a mixer for 4-5 minutes until it is smooth and elastic (adjusting the amount of flour if necessary).
Put the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover the bowl with a small towel.
Allow the dough to rise until doubled (about 1 hour).
Punch the dough down and let it rest for 15 minutes.
Divide the dough into two equal portions.
Roll each dough half into a large rectangle (about 12"x15").
Roll the dough up from the longer side into a log.
Place each log onto a lightly greased baking sheet.
Make 4-5 large slashes on the top of the dough logs.
Cover again with a floured towel and let the loaves rise until doubled (about 30-45 minutes).
Preheat the oven to 400.
Combine the beaten egg and the milk.
Once they have doubled, brush the loaves with the egg mixture.
Bake for 18-22 minutes until the crust is golden brown.
Store cooled loaves not served immediately in an airtight bag and in the freezer if longer than a day or two.

*This recipe is from the "More with Less" cookbook via

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