This is the ultimate recipe for french bread. It’s a breeze to make with a bread machine, and consistently produces amazing french bread. I’ve been told by both Susan and the Master Taste Tester not to try any other french bread recipe!
Ingredients for French Bread:
The recipe that I use does not require a starter. I use the following ingredients: Water, sugar, Kosher salt, bread flour, and yeast.
I put these ingredients into my little bread machine in the order listed. Then, I processed the dough on the dough cycle. When the dough cycle finished, I removed the dough, weighed it and separated it into two pieces. The dough weighs around 24 ounces, so each piece is around 12 ounces. Sometimes, I’ll make three loaves that are roughly 8 ounces each.
Working with one piece at a time, I patted the dough into a rough rectangle on a well floured piece of parchment paper. Then I folded the long end toward me, and pinched the two sides together. I patted this again into a rough rectangle, and repeated the folding and pinching. Then, I rolled the dough back and forth on the floured surface to ensure that all edges were sealed and that the dough was a proper length.
Next, I placed the prepared dough onto a parchment lined perforated French bread pan, and covered it with a clean kitchen towel.
When the dough had almost risen, I slashed each loaf with my bread knife. The reason that I do the slashing at this point is that invariably the dough deflates somewhat.
After another 30 minutes or so, I spritzed the loaves with warm water, and placed them in a preheated 400° F oven for about 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, the loaves were golden brown and perfectly baked. I let them cool completely, anxiously awaiting my first taste.
I generally make this french bread at lease once a week. It doesn’t get much better than this. Yum!