Oh my goodness I love the smell of fresh bread baking. It is such a homey, comforting smell. Out of the oven emerges bread with a crunchy crust, a steaming soft interior that butter melts into, and honey slides off…
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Made from scratch bread takes a few hours to make, but it is predominantly rising time. This recipe goes through 3 rises before the oven. Total time is about 2 1/2-3 hours. Temperature and humidity of your kitchen affects the dough too.
I have tried a number of recipes, and this is a favorite. It has never failed me. It’s a great way to impress company! With homemade butter and preserves… it is delicious.
I have listed the recipe below with my comments. A link to the original post by Sandy at scratchwithsandy.com with step-by-step pictures is included. If you are not familiar with bread making, Sandy does a fantastic job with her photo tutorial.
Do take heed of the warm water temperature. Yeast is a fussy critter and does not like the water too hot!
You can make a single loaf, or split into two smaller baguettes as I have done in the pictures.
Let me know how your bread came out, and your favorite ways to serve it.
MADE FROM SCRATCH FRENCH BREAD
- 1 cup warm water (110-120F)
- 2 Tablespoons of sugar
- 2 ½ teaspoons of yeast (or one sachet of pre-measured)
- 2 Tablespoons of oil (I use olive)
- 1 ½ teaspoons of salt
- 3 cups of flour (all purpose works just fine here)
- In a mixing bowl or bowl of your stand mixer, add sugar and warm water. Stir to combine and then add yeast. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes, or until it is foamy.
- Add oil, salt, and half the flour. Mix to combine (I give it a few turns with my dough hook, with a quick scraping with a spatula).
- If you have not already done so, change to your dough hook.
- Add remaining flour and mix. Old fashioned way of using a wooden spoon works too.
- I let the mixer run for a few minutes and then give the dough the “glass window” test. If it holds together when stretched thinly it has kneaded enough. For me it usually take 5-9 minutes. Check regularly and don’t over mix. When the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl and forms a single ball, it is a good indicator that the dough is ready to come out.
- Pull out the dough and knead into a ball. (if you used a dough hook, give it a quick couple of kneads for shape).
- Place is a greased bowl. Roll around to cover with oil (prevents drying out).
- Cover bowl tightly with cling film, put in a warm but draft free place to rise for 1 hour.
- Punch dough down, re-cover, and leave for an additional 30 minutes.
- Pull dough out of the bowl and shape into a rectangle.
- Form a loaf by doing a “Jelly roll” and tuck ends underneath, pinching to make them stick.
- Place on a greased baking tray that has been sprinkled with cornmeal (I use a silicon baking mat, no greasing or sprinkling required).
- Cover and let rise again for 30-60 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375F
- For a harder crust, brush with egg.
- Slice quickly diagonally across the loaf in 2 or 3 places.
- Bake for 25 minutes.
If you didn’t do the egg wash then brush with some butter (I don’t do this, but then my family swarms fresh baked bread, the butter is quickly applied to the inside.
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if you enjoyed this recipe, head on over and try the dutch oven cheesy crusty bread included in the award winning dutch oven recipes page.
Did you try this recipe? Comment below or drop me a line.
Original post with step by step pictures: http://scratchthiswithsandy.com/2014/01/20/easy-french-bread/