French Bread

Published October 7, 2013 by jenmatteson

My reason for making this bread was twofold.  First, I just made this delicious tomato soup, and I needed something to sop it up with.  Plus, I don’t think Nate would eat soup with a spoon, only with bread.  Secondly, I was having a ladies wine tasting party, and I wanted to make something fresh for us to munch on between wines, and my girlfriend got me these awesome oils and vinegars that I wanted to use for dipping.

French Bread

I made this recipe earlier in the week to be sure it turned out.  It did, however, I thought it was extremely bland and needed a little more salt, as did two of my taste testers.  The rest was wonderful – the outside was crusty and the inside was soft and warm.  I made another loaf the day of my party and added a little more salt, and this time I nailed it.  This is super simple to whip up and only has one rising period.  I thought the hardest part was getting the loaf an even thickness throughout!

French Bread

French Bread

Source: Adapted from Simply Scratch
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients:

1 cup warm water (about 110-115 degrees)
2 1/4 tsp dry active yeast (this is the same as one of those small packets)
1/2 tsp sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
olive oil for coating

Directions:

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, sprinkle yeast over warm water and add sugar.  Let the yeast bloom for about 5 minutes.  You’ll know when it’s ready when it’s all foamy and puffy on top.

2. Add flour and salt and turn mixer on low.  Once ingredients have come together, turn up the mixer to medium-low speed and knead until dough is smooth and tacky, about 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, coat a large mixing bowl with olive oil.

3.  Remove dough from stand mixer and form into a ball.  Place in pre-oiled bowl and turn to coat the dough completely.  Cover with a damp tea towel and set in a warm place to rise.  After about an hour, the dough should have about doubled in size.

4. Roll dough into a long loaf shape, and place on a baking sheet.  Score diagonally along the top.  Place loaf into an unheated oven.  Set oven to 350 degrees, and bake for 30-35 minutes, until top is crisp and bread is baked through.  Drizzle with olive oil or spread with butter right away to add a little extra flavor.  Let bread cool slightly, then slice and serve.

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