Oh my Lord! Am I on cloud nine or what!?
Hello everybody! Today is a particularly happy day! You ask why? Because I made some beautiful aromatic and super easy French bread! Yes, I did!
So by now I am hoping that you have a pretty good idea about how ecstatic I am. I finally was able to crack this ‘cookie’! Well, cracked this bread! French bread to me always seemed like a different ball game altogether. Always seemed out of my league. But I know me! I had to find a way to get around this monster. After months of searching the web and reading recipes, I finally found the perfect way to make easy and seriously delicious French bread. When you can make such delicious bread at home, without even a bread pan, why would you even bother buying bread from the grocery store? I mean I agree buying bread is always easier but knowing exactly what goes into your bread and doing it in the comfort of your homes always wins over the store bought breads. For a baking enthusiast like me, homemade bread is the ultimate ‘win’!
Now coming to this particular bread recipe, let me tell you that like all other recipes on my blog, this one also is a very simple recipe which involves very little labor but only a lot of waiting time in between all that labor. Just involves 4 ingredients which I am sure are readily available at your home. A little kneading, not too much and rolling it into a loaf shape (I am sure there is a particular way out there for rolling out French bread, but I really did not follow that and my bread still came out perfect!). I urge you to try this as soon as you can. There is hardly anything that you could do wrong with with this recipe.
So here goes the recipe,
1 cup warm water
2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
2 ½ cup all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
- In a bowl, pour the lukewarm water. The water should be just enough warm such that you are able to dunk your finger in it comfortably. It should not be too hot. If you have a food thermometer, the water should be about 115F. In that, add the active dry yeast and stir once. Let it sit for about 15 minutes in a dry warm place. You would see little bubbles in the bowl. It is a sign that your yeast has proofed or activated. If you don’t see bubbles, scratch the whole thing and start over because it means that your yeast has not proofed well and your dough eventually would not rise.
- Add the salt and ½ cup flour and mix well with a wooden spatula.
- Dump 1 ½ more cups of flour slowly and mix well in the bowl with the spatula. At this stage it would look very sticky. Don’t worry. We still have work to do! Let it rest for 30 mins.
- Now sprinkle some flour on your work surface and turn the dough out of the bowl for further action! Knead the dough with the heels of your hands but be sure not to overstretch the dough. The simple thing to remember is to not break the dough while you are stretching it while kneading. Keep adding flour little by little till you get a smooth dough and soft. You should knead for about 5 minute. At this stage it should look like this,
- Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and cover. Rest for one hour.
- After one hour, it should have risen atleast to double its original size.
- Punch it down.
- Divide into the number of loaves you want. I made 3 rolls. Roll in the shape of bread.
- Arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with a damp towel. Let them rest for 45-60 mins or until they have again doubled in size.
- In the meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450F. Remove the cloth carefully. Make slashes on the bread as you please. Spray the top of the breads with some water and place them into the oven on the medium rack. Place another pan on the bottom rack of the oven. Carefully pour a glass of water in the pan kept on the bottom rack and close the oven. Be careful while doing this because there will be steam!
- Bake for 25 minutes. Take out of the oven and brush with some melted butter. Let it cool completely before slicing.
- Make sure you enjoy!
That’s it guys! The simplest bread recipe. The result will wow you! It does not involve a lot of actual kneading but only a lot of waiting time. Store these in a ziploc bag for about 4 days.
I hope you try this recipe and if you do, let me know how it turns out.
Your suggestions and comments are also welcome!
Till next time,