french bread

I realized this week that I’ve never shared my favorite french bread recipe on the blog, which is a shame because it’s so perfect and tasty! Tonight we’re having spinach quiche (and I’m even attempting a homemade crust a la these pasties), and I decided some french bread would be perfect to accompany it, so here we are.

Although the recipe isn’t as hands off as most of my bread recipes, it’s super easy (I just set the timer on the microwave to remind myself to come in at 10 minute intervals) and achieves consistently great results. Seriously, it looks as good as store-bought bread, and tastes much better. Delicious! I’m going to spend the evening slathering thick pieces of bread in the tasty homemade peach jam I made earlier this week…

French Bread
Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

2 1/4 c warm water
2 T sugar
1 T yeast
1 T salt
2 T oil
5 1/2 – 6 cups flour

Dissolve sugar and yeast in the warm water. Then add salt, oil and 3 cups of flour and beat well. Add in 2 1/2 -3 more cups of flour. The dough should clean off the sides of the bowl and not be too sticky – but be careful not to add too much flour. Knead for a few minutes. Leave the dough in the mixer to rest for 10 minutes and then stir it down (turn on your mixer for 10 seconds) and then allow to rest another 10 minutes. Repeat for a total of 5 times. Then turn dough onto a floured surface and divide into two equal parts. Roll each part into a 9Γ—13 rectangle. Roll dough up, starting from long edge of loaf to seal. Arrange seam side down on large baking sheet that’s been sprinkled with corn meal, allowing room for both loaves. Repeat with second part of dough. With a sharp knife, cut 3 gashes at an angle on the top of each. Cover lightly; allow to rise 30 minutes. Brush entire surface with egg wash (one egg beaten slightly with 1 Tbsp of water). If desired, sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.

You can see that I’m such a rebel that I cut four slashes into the top of my loaves instead of three (I walk on the wild side). Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly!

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  1. I made this bread yesterday and my boyfriend and I ate thick slices out of the oven and his response was, "Holy crap." I then took a loaf to a dinner and every one there couldn't stop raving about it, one girl didn't believe I had made it, she said it was better than a bakery could even do. I LOVED the texture of the crust and the interior! The one other time I attempted french bread the next day it was not good at all, but I cut a slice of yours for breakfast and couldn't believe how delicious it was the next day! Thanks for such a great recipe, I will now bake french bread all the time! πŸ™‚

  2. Yes! I would just mix it by hand, and then instead of turning on the stand mixer every ten minutes, I would just punch it down, reshape into a ball, then let it sit. Let me know how it works!

  3. today i made one loaf as instructed, but the other loaf i changed it up a bit. when rolled into a 9×13 rectangle, i spread the surface with 2T melted butter, then combine 1/2 cup brown sugar with 1 tsp cinnamon and sprinkled over the surface. i then rolled it up and voila! cinnamon bread for french toast tomorrow morning! πŸ™‚

  4. Thanks for this great recipe. This is my first French bread, I use my bread machine to knead the dough. It is easy to make, and taste so good.

  5. I don't usually post comments on recipes, but I really wanted you to know that I have used your recipe for French Bread at least 50 times and every time I make your bread everyone raves. I can't knead bread like I use to because of arthritis and your method works so good for me. My Granddaughter absolutely loves it. So much so, I gave her two loaves for her birthday! LOL!!! Thanks again for posting such a good recipe!

  6. Have you tried making this with rapid-rise yeast? Since It allows you to skip the first rise, I'm wondering how to adapt it to your recipe. I'm very excited to try making this!

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