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!
The recipe that I use does not require a starter. I use the following ingredients for the French Bread: water, sugar, Kosher salt, bread flour, and yeast.
Using the Bread Machine to Knead the Dough
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 should weigh around 24 ounces, so each piece is around 12 ounces. Sometimes, I’ll make three loaves that are roughly 8 ounces each.
Forming and Cooking the French Bread
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 dry kitchen towel.
When the dough had risen into almost double its size, 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!
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French Bread (Bread Machine)
- 1 cup plus 3 Tablespoons (9.5 ounces) filtered water,
- 1 ½ teaspoons sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons Kosher salt
- 3 cups (15-ounces) Bread flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons bread machine yeast
- Add ingredients to bread machine pan in the order listed. Select Dough cycle, and press start.
- When the Dough cycle has completed, place dough on floured surface. Pat down, and cut dough in half. With each half, pat dough onto a rectangle, approximately 9-inches by 4-inches. Roll the long side, forming a cylinder. Press edges together, and continue to shape into loaf with tapered ends. Place on parchment paper or perforated French bread/baguette pan.Repeat with second piece of dough. Cover with clean kitchen towel until dough is doubled in size. Remove kitchen towel and make 2 to 3 make deep diagonal slashes across loaves. Cover with dish towel and let rise for an additional 30 minutes or so.
- Preheat oven to 400° F. When oven has reached temperature, spritz the loaves with warm water. Place in oven; bake for 20, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Yield: 2 French bread loaves.
- Note: May also use dough to make rolls. Scale dough into 2-ounce sections and place on parchment paper or perforated french bread/baguette pan. Continue as above for the French bread. May also make 3 smaller french bread loaves using 8 ounces of dough per loaf.