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French Bread

Jon
Recipe by
| Servings: 4 bagettes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of bread flour (highest gluten content)
  • 3 cups all purpose unbleached flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 packets of yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups of warm water (110 to 115°)

Instructions

  1. Combine bread flour, all purpose flour and salt in food processor work bowl, fitted with the plastic bread dough blade.
  2. Combine 1/4 cup warm water with sugar and yeast. Let stand 10 minutes or until foamy.
  3. When yeast is foamy, turn on machine and add gradually through the feed tube. Pour remaining water through feed tube  in a slow steady stream.
  4. Add only enough water so that the dough cleans the sides of the work bowl.
  5. When the dough is in one mass process 60 seconds more.
  6. Remove dough from work bowl. Place in a floured plastic bag. Seal the bag removing all air and let rise until double. This should take around 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  7. Punch down.
  8. Knead 3 to 4 times.
  9. Divide into 4 pieces.
  10. Shape into baguettes.
  11. Wrap each in a kitchen towel and let rise 30 to 45 minutes or until almost doubled.
  12. Brush with beaten egg and slash the top. DO NOT let the egg wash touch the pan.
  13. Bake in a 425° oven for 25 to 30 minutes.

Notes

After step 7 above you can refrigerate for up to five days.

If you are using milk instead of water, scald the milk and cool to 110 to 115°.

Never sift the flour.

Use a baking stone in the oven and preheat it with the oven. If you are not using a baking stone set on a cookie sheet.

After rising put 2 fingers in, if the holes don’t stay let it rise more.

Roll into rectangle and roll and pinch edges. Put in greased pan or floured towel seam side down.

To help get a great rise for your loaves, place a pan of water on the bottom of the oven.  Alternatively you can open the oven door and spray with water two or three times during the baking.

You can use the above recipe to also make bread sticks. Take one portion of the bread dough after the first rise and divide into 18 pieces. Roll each into 8 inch strips. Brush with egg white and lay one inch apart. Sprinkle with salt or sesame. Cook at 450° for 8 to 10 minutes.

Source: Ma Cuisine Cooking School

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