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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Fabulous French Bread




Several months ago, my friend AnnaRuth from church, brought over a couple of beautiful loaves of french bread she had made. They were wonderful! My family kept reminding me I needed to get her recipe and try making it myself. I finally did it! This bread was so easy to mix up. I used my KitchenAid mixer, but it could easily be done by hand. I have a 6 quart bowl & heavy duty mixer so I doubled the batch so I'd have a few loaves to share and it turned out perfect. If you have the smaller model KitchenAid, a single batch will work fine in it. Your total flour on a single batch will be around 6-7 cups.

AnnaRuth tells me she got this recipe from Marilyn Dye, who got it from her mother. I'd consider that a time tested recipe.


Mother’s French Bread

Mix:
2 ½ C. hot tap water
2 T. sugar
2 tsp. salt

Then put in 2 T. yeast (I used instant yeast & just decreased it by ½ tsp.) and ¼ C. of oil and mix again.
Add 5 C. flour and mix on low speed 5 minutes or so. The dough should begin to pull away from the side of the bowl & be firm enough you can pat it without it sticking horribly to your hand. You may need to add up to 1 more cup or so of flour. Take out dough and put in large greased bowl and let rise from ½ to 1 hour until doubled.
Turn dough onto lightly oiled counter and divide into 2 pieces and let it rest 10 minutes. (this step is very important!)




Knead into 2 long loaves and put on a cookie sheet sprinkled generously with cornmeal. (no grease) Cut a few slashes diagonally down the loaf, you know, just like you see the ones in the store.


Let rise until double and bake at 375 degrees about 30 minutes or until good and brown. (see picture at top of post)

Joy’s note: If you like a softer, shiny, crust, you can brush this with butter right after you take it out of the oven. However, that seems to defeat the purpose of a nice crusty loaf of French bread to me. You could also shape this into loaves and put in bread pans to bake, or shape into smaller dinner type rolls.


I think if you'll give this a try, you'll LOVE it! It's warm outside right now, but I can't wait until it's "soup weather" so I can serve this beside a nice hot bowl of stew or chowder!

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