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