Thursday, December 8, 2011

Easy French Bread

I have made this recipe twice and both times were not successful.  I'm going to give it one more shot and then call the recipe done!  It calls for you to put the dough in a cold oven and turn it on.  I feel like this is where the recipe goes wrong.  Starting with the cold oven is supposed to allow time to rise as the oven is heating up, but since I have a new oven and it only takes 9 minutes to preheat, my bread is always coming out flat.  It tastes good, but flat bread is, well just that, flat!  I will try again allowing time to rise and then cook.  We shall see.  (I'll update this post as soon as I get a chance to try it again.)

Easy French Bread (HERE)
adapted from James Beard

1 1/2 T active dry yeast
2 cups warm water
2 T sugar
1 T salt
5 cups bread flour
1 T egg white plus 1 T water, mixed together in a small bowl.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, pour the warm water.  Add the yeast, sugar, and salt and mix with the dough hook until dissolved.  Add the flour and mix on low for 2 minutes and on medium high for 10 minutes.  The dough should be pulling away from the sides of the bowl.  Cover the mixer bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise for 1 1/2 hours. (I always spray the plastic wrap first so if the dough gets that high it doesn't stick to the plastic.)

Dump out the dough onto a lightly floured surface into 2 equal parts.  Shape each into long baguette and slash the tops with a serrated knife.  Brush with egg white mixture and place in a cold oven.  Turn the oven to 400F degrees.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.

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