I LOVE bread. Bagels, biscuits, loaves, buns, rolls, slices, all and any of it I can get my hands on. I could never go on the Atkins diet because probably half my diet is carbs (oops) and French bread is one of my all-time favorites.

When I got the book, The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois (pictured below) it was like all my bread dreams came true. They have a master recipe, which is listed in the ingredients section, that applies to every loaf in the book.

Today we’re talking about French bread, which utilizes the master recipe for boule, artisan free-form loaves. If you’re a die-hard bread lover and maker, I suggest you pick up The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois. The goal of the book is to give you a large amount to dough to allow you to bake fresh bread frequently; hence five minutes per day. You make the main recipe one day and use it throughout the next two weeks. They also have Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, a book I own and love to pieces.

The French bread recipe below will allow you to bake a few loaves of this bread since the typical serving size is sort of a small loaf. To me, there’s nothing better than fresh baked bread right out of the oven. I suggest making as much fresh bread as you can in your lifetime. Not only is it a money saver, but it’s mind-blowingly awesome. For other bread recipes, try the Olive Garden Breadsticks for a good time.

French Bread Baking Book

French Bread Fully Cooked and Steaming

French Bread Recipe
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Prep Time
2 hr 15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
2 hr 40 min
Prep Time
2 hr 15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
2 hr 40 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 cups warm water (about 100 degrees)
  2. 1 TB (Tablespoon) granulated yeast
  3. 1 TB kosher salt
  4. 6 and 1/2 cups AP flour (I like to use better for bread flour instead but both work well)
  5. Whole wheat flour for dusting
  6. 1 cup of water plus a little more for brushing the baguette with
Instructions
  1. Warm the water to about 100 degrees then add to a 6-quart bowl or lidded food container
  2. Add the yeast and salt to the water in the bowl or container (You can also put everything into a stand mixer bowl and mix with the dough hook attachment instead of your hands or a wooden spoon or Danish dough whisk pictured below. I love my Danish dough whisk because it’s cheaper than a stand mixer and it works perfectly for mixing dough without over mixing. When the mixture becomes too tough with the Danish dough whisk, you can mix the bread by hand a little but you know that it’s about ready to proof.)
  3. Mix in the flour to the mixture but DO NOT KNEAD (You need to mix with your hands, mixer, or dough whisk until the dough is sticky and doesn’t have any dry spots. Be careful of over mixing here and creating tough dough. You want the dough to be as light as possible so just mix enough so that all the ingredients are incorporated and there are no dry spots.)
  4. Allow the dough to rise for 2 hours at room temperature. Make sure if you’re using a lidded container that you DO NOT seal it all the way. You want to allow some of the gasses to escape. The same goes if you’re covering your 6-quart bowl with plastic wrap; leave a little hole open and wrap the plastic wrap loosely for gasses to escape. When the dough has risen, refrigerate (up to 14 days) until you’re ready to bake your bread.
  5. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and place your baking stones in the oven to warm for 20-30 minutes before putting the bread in the oven
  6. Put your empty broiler pan on the shelf below the baking stones to warm as well
  7. Take 1/2 lb (about the size of an orange; you can use up to grapefruit sized if you want to make more bread) and dust it with whole wheat flour
  8. Slightly massage the dough into a long, 1 and 1/2-inch baguette shape but don’t knead or press too hard (you want to keep as much air in the dough as possible)
  9. Dust a pizza peel with whole wheat flour then place the baguette on the peel to rest for 20 minutes
  10. When the dough is done resting, brush it with water using a pastry brush
  11. Cut the dough with a serrated or bread knife to create artsy slashes to show you’re a real bread baker now (I did this earlier; doesn’t matter if you do it right after you make the baguette or not.)
  12. Heat 1 cup of water until it is hot
  13. When the stones have finished their 20-30 minutes of heating up, slide the baguette onto the hot baking stones and pour the hot water into the broiler tray
  14. Bake the bread for about 25 minutes or until golden brown
Notes
  1. Put on your best fake French accent, call your Dad, and sip coffee outside enjoying your fresh-made bread!
So Good Blog http://www.sogoodblog.com/
French Bread Yeast, Water, and Salt Mixture

French Bread Danish Dough Whisk

French Bread Dough Ready to Rise

French Bread Dough Risen for 2 hours

French Bread Baking Stones Warming

French Bread Dusted with Flour

French Bread Pizza Peel Dusted with Whole Wheat Flour

French Bread brushed with water

French Bread Baguette on baking stone fresh in oven

French Bread Cooking in Oven

French Bread Finished Cooking

 

 

Summary
Recipe Name
Simple French Bread
Published On
Preparation Time
Cook Time
Total Time
Average Rating
5 Based on 1 Review(s)
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I am in deep-fried love with food and travel. With Italian roots, I have a weakness for bread, marinara, and mozzarella. I’ll try anything once and am constantly searching for intriguing places to visit. When I'm not savoring the last bite or organizing my next trip, I'm indulging my inner bookworm and writing about my adventures. If you turn on college football and give me a local craft beer, you’ll see the happiest Hokie on the West coast.

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