Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Easy French Bread

Ironically enough, we love homemade French bread with our Italian meal of spaghetti, and it's pretty easy to make.

Homemade French Bread
(why run to the grocery store if you can make it yourself?)

I use my bread machine to mix this dough:
1 3/4 c. warm water
1 rounded T. yeast
2 rounded T. sugar
1 t. salt
2 T. oil or melted butter
3-3/12 cups all purpose flour

My bread machine mixes it, kneads twice and lets it rise once. (If you don't have a bread machine, you can mix & knead by hand and then let the dough rise for 45 minutes or until double). At this point, I roll the dough out into a rectangle about a 1/2 inch thick. Roll the dough into a log, rolling from one long side to the other. Thoroughly pinch all the edges together to seal. Place the dough log seam-side down onto a large greased baking sheet. Cover with a towel and let it rise for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. After the dough has risen for 20 minutes, take a very sharp knife and make 3-4 slashes diagonally across the top of the loaf. The slashes should go about 1/2 an inch deep. Put the loaf into the oven and bake 30 minutes or until dark golden brown. Cool for 30 minutes or more before slicing. Delicious dipped into olive oil & balsamic vinegar. (Or just butter it up--nothing wrong with a good 'ol slab of butter!)

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