March 17, 2010

Quick French Bread.

I love baguettes! How can't I since I was raised in Montreal city? Bakeries everywhere and the smell of fresh bread! Ahhh! Mouth watering. I was raised breaking bread with some good chunk of cheese. I still do and so do my kids. I am teaching them the love of good basic, simple food.

I saw this recipe for a quick French bread. I was curious since I have never made French bread.  It takes about an hour to make this so it made me even more curious. It makes 3 loaves but I think I will use my baguette pan the next time and make 2 longer baguettes. The bread tastes really good and has a great crunchy, crusty top. Want some fresh bread right now? Get your ingredients and we'll get started right now.

Ingredients.

1 Tb   Yeast
1 Tb   Shortening
1 Tb   Salt
2 Tb   Sugar
1 cup  Cold water
1 cup  Boiling water
1/3 cup Warm water
4 1/2 - 6  cups Flour (used unbleached all purpose flour)
1         Egg


Place 1 cup of hot water in the microwave for 3 minutes until it starts boiling.

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and stir until all is mixed well.
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Combine the sugar, salt and shortening in a mixing bowl. Goumet Mom On The Go suggested to use a fork and mix it since the dough hook wouldn't work. I did as she said. lol
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Now pour the boiling water over the mixture.
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Pour the cold water then the warm water with yeast in the mixture. Now she doesn't say to mix everytime you pour water so I just poured them in order then started the mixer.
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Start adding one cup at a time to the mixer while it mixes. Start on low-medium or you will get flour all over the place. Rookie mistake I made 10 years ago. lol

Soon the dough will start pulling away from the bowl.  Now up the speed to medium speed and let it mix for 8 minutes.
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This is what you get after 8 minutes.  Cover the bowl and let it rise for 20 minutes.
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Separate the dough into 3 balls and let it sit for 5 minutes. Place them on either a floured board, clean countertops or silpat. You don't want them to stick to on the surface so please remember that.
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Now comes the fun part. Take one ball and start streching it so you can make a rectangle. I took a photo with a jelly roll pan so you can see how stretched it should be.
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Now roll it inward lenghtwise.
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Fold the ends of the dough over each other. Now here's what I should of done. Pressed and streched it because some of the loaves flopped on the side. Getting things real. We all make mistakes whether we have been cooking for multiple years or just a few weeks. It's ok so don't feel beaten if it doesn't come out like in those cooking books.
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Now get knife and make 3 slits on the top.


Crack an egg and whisk it. Use a pastry brush and brush the loaves with the egg. This will make the loaves golden and have a crunchy top.
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Place the loaves in the warm oven set at 170 and let it rise for 15 minutes.

Turn the oven to 400 (next time I will try 375 with my oven). Leave the loves in while the temperature rises. Bake for 15 minutes (next time I will bake for 20).

Turn down the temprature to 350 and bake for 7 minutes.

Place the baked loaves on a cooling rack. When cooled a bit, slice that baby up and slather it with either sweet butter or jam. My son wanted strawberry jam or I should quote him "strawberry jam momma makes". My kids won't eat strawberry jam from the store now. lol
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Mmm warm, crusty, French bread! See this side looks ok but from the top? It flopped to one side. It tasted great so that's what matters. Next time I will improve my technique.
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Bon Appetit!

2 comments:

yummy2tummy said...

This looks so easy to make. I've never used yeast before I think I've seen it. Is it sold in a packet?

Domestic Goddess..Diva sometimes said...

In a packet or in jars. Jars are cheaper but if you don't bake a lot of bread, donuts or anything that needs yeast, go for packets.

Also, keep it in the fridge. It'll last longer and won't go bad quickly that way. :)

 

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