French Bread

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It’s about time for another bread recipe!  I love to make bread because it’s such a hands-on and connected way of baking.  As if we are nurturing the dough into its final form.

Bread making is also about patience.  To truly get great tasting bread, the yeast needs time to ferment and develop.  Luckily,  a lot of the work is just waiting.  So the actual time spent working with it is very low, especially so if you have an electric mixer.

As a note, I’d recommend using a stand mixer or a handheld mixer that has a powerful motor.  Ever since I blew the fuse out of my little handheld mixer I am extremely careful whenever I use them.

If you don’t have a mixer, don’t fret as your hands make excellent mixers too.  Everyone’s technique for mixing is a little different, so whatever method works best for you is fine.  As long as you end up with a smooth mixture at the end.  I knead the bread with the palm of my hand, stretching the dough out as I do it.

***Makes 2 loaves of bread***

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What you need:

Starter Dough:

  • 131 g Bread Flour
  • 85 g water (room temp)
  • Pinch yeast.

Final Dough:

  • 307 g Bread Flour
  • 213 g water (room temp)
  • 2 g yeast
  • 8.5 g salt
  • 2 g sugar

What you need to do:

Starter Dough:

Combine flour, water, and yeast in small bowl.  Cover and let sit for at least 8 hours.

Final Dough:

Mix flour, water, yeast and malt powder on low setting until combined.  Let rest 20 minutes.

Add the starter dough and salt and mix until dough is homogenous.

Cover with plastic bag and let rest in warm place for 1 hour.

Divide dough into 2 equal halves.  Form into the desired shape, cover and let rest for 1 – 1.5 hours or until bread has doubled in size.

Score, and bake at 425 Fahrenheit for 20 – 25 minutes.

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****I recommend looking up a shaping bread article or video on YouTube as they can help teach you the proper technique.  A batard shape is most common for this type of bread.****

 

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