French Bread

    French Bread

    (1113)
    1save
    2hr45min


    1040 people made this

    About this recipe: A crisp, crunchy crust and slightly chewy center make this bread as traditional as the breads served in France.

    Ingredients
    Serves: 30 

    • 6 cups )750g) plain flour
    • 2 1/2 (8g) packages active dry yeast
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 2 cups warm water 45 degrees C (110 degrees F)
    • 1 tablespoon cornmeal or polenta
    • 1 egg white
    • 1 tablespoon water

    Directions
    Prep:35min  ›  Cook:40min  ›  Extra time:1hr30min proofing  ›  Ready in:2hr45min 

    1. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups (250g) flour, yeast and salt. Stir in 2 cups (500ml) warm water, and beat until well blended using a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.
    2. On a lightly floured surface, knead in enough flour to make a stiff dough that is smooth and elastic. Knead for about 8 to 10 minutes total. Shape into a ball. Place dough in a greased bowl, and turn once. Cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled.
    3. Punch dough down, and divide in half. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover, and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll each half into large rectangle. Roll up, starting from a long side. Moisten edge with water and seal. Taper ends.
    4. Grease a large baking tray. Sprinkle with cornmeal. Place loaves, seam side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly beat the egg white with 1 tablespoon of water, and brush on. Cover with a damp cloth. Let rise until nearly doubled, 35 to 40 minutes.
    5. With a very sharp knife, make 3 or 4 diagonal cuts about .5cm deep across top of each loaf. Bake in a preheated 190 degrees C (375 degrees F ) oven for 20 minutes. Brush again with egg white mixture. Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until bread tests done. If necessary, cover loosely with foil to prevent over browning. Remove from baking tray, and cool on a wire rack.
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    Reviews and ratings
    Global ratings:
    (1113)

    Reviews in English (1116)

    by
    1519

    Quick disclaimer...I loved this recipe; great crust with a soft, yet, chewy center. With that said, I'll poke some holes in the instructions. First, the recipe does say 2 and 1/2 half packages of yeast--there was some confusion among previous reviewers. So...1 pg. of active dry yeast = .25 ounces or 2 and 1/2 teaspoons per packet. I used 5 teaspoons of yeast in my trial batch and it went well. Secondly, most people (like me) may want to add more salt and some butter. The trial batch came out a bit bland. I'm going to add another 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a tablespoon of butter. Since butter is only 15% water, one tablespoon shouldn't affect your total liquids that much. One last note, the first rise in my trial batch doubled in 30 minutes. Luckily the bench proof added another 40 minutes to the rise. With those adjustments made, this recipe is definitely a keeper.  -  08 Sep 2005  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)

    by
    878

    All I can say is "Wow". I tried this recipe twice. The first time I made this, I found the bread to be a bit too dense, but the second time, I added a pinch more yeast and only used 5 cups of flour. I made a nice long baguette and brushed the loaves with just a beaten egg white (left out the water) and I got a nice crust and a lighter loaf. Has come out perfect every time.  -  01 Feb 2003  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)

    by
    774

    This is a very good & easy french bread recipe. I first made the bread exactly as described and ended up with dough that was a bit too dense. The bread was good but a bit thick and a little on the bland side. Being an experimenter and something of a perfectionist, I decided to give it another try and proofed the yeast in the warm water with a little bit of sugar before making the dough. I also decreased the flour (noting that the 6c in the ingredient list was more of a guideline and that the real goal was nice, elastic dough) to ~5 1/4 c. I also increased the salt amount to 1.5tsp as other reviewers had mentioned. This batch was considerably lighter and more tasty than the original recipe. While bread making is up to taste, I'll be doing it the second way from now on! Great recipe and thanks very much for sharing it!  -  04 Feb 2007  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)

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