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There’s nothing more lovely than the aroma of fresh bread….and nothing more nummy than a fresh, hot-out-of-the-oven piece with butter melting on it. My grandson would attest to that as he sat the other day eating not one, but two slices from loaves I made at his house. I’ve been making this bread for over 30 years from a cookbook called “Eat Your Heart Out” by three sisters back in 1979 which I received at a wedding shower. I’ve shared this recipe with so many people and they all love it!
Amazing French Bread
It’s a simple recipe that can be loosely followed and it still turns out great. It can be done with a mixer like a Kitchen aid or Bosch, but can also be done the old fashioned way in a bowl with a spoon. The beauty of it is that you never have to take it out of the bowl…..you mix it and then to rise you set the timer for 10 minutes, turn your mixer on for about 5 seconds (or stir it a few times in your bowl) and do that 4 more times. This is an easy one for college students to WOW their friends with.
If you’re in the middle of something (feeding a baby….wrestling with a child…or somehow indisposed) it won’t matter if it sits a bit. It’s a very forgiving dough! The time from start to finish is about 2 hours and once mixed takes very little attention. Once the rising time is done, you divide it in two, or three or even four pieces, roll out (or even press into a rectangle) and put on a greased cookie sheet, or on parchment paper, slash the top, brush with egg white and sprinkle with sesame seeds (or shaved parmesan) Rise and bake. Come on, I’ll show you the way!
Mixer (or bowl and wooden spoon) This is my mixer of choice. My first one lasted 32 years so I got another. I do have a Kitchen Aid and this recipe works well in it as well.
1/2 C of warm water
2 pkgs yeast (2 TBSP)
2 C hot water (the hottest your tap will do, or microwave for a couple of minutes)
3 TBSP sugar
1 TBSP salt
5 TBSP oil (can be any type, even coconut)
6 C flour (unsifted)
Sesame Seeds or Shredded/Shaved Parmesan Cheese
- In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 C Warm water and yeast and a dash of sugar; let proof 5 minutes
- While the yeast is proofing, in your mixing bowl, add hot water, sugar, salt, oil and 1/2 of the flour.
- Mix together (will be very gooey) and add the yeast mixture.
- Add the rest of the flour, a bit at a time mixing the whole time. If you are doing this by hand, keep stirring. You can also grease the counter with a little oil or cooking spray and incorporate the rest of the flour. Let sit for 10 minutes.
- Turn mixer on for about 5 seconds (or knead the dough a couple of times on the counter) and set the timer for another 10 minutes. Do this three more times (5 times in total)
- Take out of bowl (or off counter) and oil the counter: divide into 2 (for large loaves) 3 for nice medium and if you’re a small family, do 4, freezing the rest for another yummy meal (or french toast, or panini’s…or I’ll keep you posted)
- Roll in a rectangle (or press with your hands into a rectangle) and roll up to form a loaf. Pinch the edges closed.
- Put on a greased or parchment covered baking sheet. Slash three times with a sharp knife.
- Separate your egg white from the yolk. With a fork or small wisk, stir so it’s a bit foamy. Brush on loaves and sprinkle with sesame seeds or parmesan cheese.
- Let rise for an additional 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 and bake for about 25 minutes.
Send me a picture to show me how your’s turned out. Happy Baking!