A crisp, crunchy crust and slightly chewy center make this bread as traditional as the breads served in France.
This is my go to bread recipe for casual baking. I enjoy the denser quality of this bread, and ease of preparation. It's a simple recipe, broken down into logical steps. Results are consistent. In it's original format I find it a bit bland, so I increase the salt and yeast to suit my taste. I also use the whole egg ( yolk and white) for the wash, This gives the loaves a pleasing final color. - 18 Dec 2017
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)