One thing my family loves is bread, we go through a lot of bread around here. French bread is an all time favorite. Here is an easy and simple french bread recipe.
A really nice thing about this bread is that it can be ready in a little over an hour. Don’t let the recipe scare you because it’s really easy. **Below is step-by-step photos on how to form the dough before baking.**
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1/3 cup warm water
- 1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 Tablespoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1 cup cold water
- 5-6 cups all-purpose flour
- olive oil
- Fill a glass measuring cup with 1 cup of water. Place in microwave and heat for 3 minutes, or until water is boiling.
- In another glass measuring cup, fill it with 1/3 cup warm water. Sprinkle the 1 Tablespoon of yeast over the water. With a fork, stir yeast into the water until yeast is completely dissolved.
- Pour the sugar, salt and butter into the bowl of your stand mixer. Using a fork, mash these ingredients together. Pour the 1 cup of boiling water over the mixture in the stand mixer. Add 1 cup of cold water into the mixer. Then pour in the yeast/water mixture. Mix.
- Add 3 cups of flour into the mixer, and using the dough hook, turn mixer on low speed. With the mixer still on, slowly add in the remaining 3 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time. Once all 6 cups are in, turn speed to medium and let the dough mix for 6-8 minutes. The dough should be nice and elastic. Be careful not to over-flour. I used all 6 cups, but would not use any more than that.
- Once the dough is mixed, let it rest in the bowl for 5 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 170 degrees F.
- Spray a large cookie sheet with non-stick spray. After the dough has rested in the bowl, dump it onto the greased cookie sheet.
- Take a sharp knife, spray it with non-stick spray, and cut dough into 1-2 equal pieces. Then let it rest again for 5 minutes. (These resting periods for the dough is needed, so please do it and be patient! It’s worth the wait )
- To shape the dough before baking: Take one section of dough and spread it out into a rectangle. Just use your fingers, you don’t need a rolling pin. Roll the dough up. Then fold each side to the center of the dough, then turn the loaf over so it is seam side down. Use your fingers to tuck seams down underneath the loaf and shape it. Repeat with the other piece of dough, if you are making two. Once the dough is shaped, cut 1/2 inch angled slits onto the tops of dough.
- Spread the olive oil over the tops of each loaf, making sure to get inside the slits.
- Place the loaves into the oven and let them rise for about 15 minutes (while the oven is on 170 degrees F.) Then turn oven up to 400 degrees F (while the loaves are still inside) and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and crisp. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees F. and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
- Remove the loaves from the baking sheet and allow them to cool a bit before slicing them.
Here is the step-by-step photos on forming the dough:
After your dough has rested, spread the dough into a rectangle.
Then roll the dough up.
Fold each side to the center of the dough then turn the loaf over so it is seam side down.
Using your fingers, tuck the seams down underneath the loaf and shape it.
Cut 1/2 inch angled slits onto the tops of dough.
Spread olive oil over the top of the loaf.