French Bread

by Megan on January 25, 2010

When I got my Taste of Home magazine in the mail, [Thanks, Sally!] this recipe caught my eye. It was probably because it said above the ingredients “you can be enjoying fresh bread in less than 2 hours!”

French-Bread

That’s reason enough for me. After scanning the ingredients, I was excited to realize that I still had bread flour in the house from my bagel party last weekend. So there you go! It was destined. And in only 2 hours I was eating delicious fresh bread of my dreams.

French-Bread-Dough-Love

So, now, about dough raising… Normally recipes instruct me to place the dough in a large bowl for it’s first rise. But when I do, I never remember how big it was before, and am always unsure of when it’s really “double in size.” Personally, I like placing it in more of a medium-sized bowl. I know it’s ready when the bread dough is coming out of the top of the bowl, and it looks like my bowl has a big belly.

Look at that dough! It’s big-boned, it’s husky, it’s curvy, it’s perfect.

French-Bread-Dough---Rise

French Bread
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home magazine

Ingredients:

  • 2 T or 2 (1/4 oz) packages of active dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm water (110-115 degrees F)
  • 2 t salt
  • 1 t sugar
  • 4 1/2 – 5 cups bread flour
  • 1 t cornmeal

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl sprinkle yeast over warm water. When dissolved, add salt, sugar and 2 cups of flour. Beat until smooth using an electric mixer or with a wooden spoon really speedily. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough, that isn’t too sticky to knead.
  2. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  3. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Shape into two 12-inch loaves by patting down the dough halves and rolling up long-ways so that the top is smooth and stretched. As you roll it up, stretch it so that it is 12 inches in length.
  4. Place seam side down on a greased baking sheet. With a sharp knife, make four shallow slashes across the top of each loaf. Cover and allow to rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with corn meal. Bake at 450 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown, rotating halfway through bake time.

French-Bread-Sliced

I think I need french toast for breakfast tomorrow…

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Sweets at Vicky's January 26, 2010 at 9:28 am

*GASP! we have the same heart bowl! I adore it, it makes everything easier to pour. I just adore your measuring spoons, where did you get them?? I bet you have a lovely pink kitchen too!

Reply

Megan (megabite) January 26, 2010 at 9:40 am

Vicky!

How cool we both have amazing heart bowls! I got my heart bowls for christmas. Best gift ever for sure!

I got my measuring spoons from Target actually, but they also sell them at modcloth.com. I love love love them.

If only my kitchen was pink. Since it’s white, I accessorize it with pretty heart everything.

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Maria January 27, 2010 at 10:29 am

Love freshly baked bread, it is the best! Yours looks perfect!

Reply

Megan (megabite) January 27, 2010 at 10:37 am

Thanks Maria! I agree, freshly bake bread sure is the very best.

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Jennifer January 27, 2010 at 4:00 pm

I LOVE your blog!!!

Those have to be the cutest little measuring spoons! 🙂 And the bread….i can smell it now!

Reply

Megan (megabite) January 27, 2010 at 4:06 pm

Well, shucks, Jennifer. Thanks!

I happen to love YOUR blog. 🙂

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Lora February 5, 2010 at 9:27 am

I made this bread this week- it was a huge hit and I don’t know that I’ll ever buy french bread again at the store. It was as good or better than what I got at the store.

Reply

Kat Langdon February 13, 2010 at 10:08 pm

I just made bread! I didn’t even know I could do that! Thank you for this recipe, the bread is delicious. Bread was on my list of things to learn to make and now I can successfully cross it off my list. Keep up the awesome blogging, you have a new fan!

Reply

Megan (megabite) February 13, 2010 at 11:28 pm

Yay!

Thanks Kat!

I’m excited about your bread-making skillz too.

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Kirsten February 16, 2010 at 4:09 pm

THANK YOU! I found this recipe in the breakroom at work, and wrote it down. Somewhere in transit from work to home the recipe got lost! So I scoured their website I can’t find it! So I’m SO entirely glad you posted this!

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Kirsten February 18, 2010 at 1:29 pm

great recipe, but when you make the slits on the top of the bread, make the slits BEFORE you rise it for the second time. That way the slits really open up the way they should to give the real french bread look.

Reply

Megan (megabite) February 28, 2010 at 11:07 pm

Thanks Kirsten! I was wondering why my slits were a little funny. 🙂

Reply

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