Tuesday, June 12, 2012

French Bread Subs

I love picnics! And one of my favorite things to bring on picnics is French Bread sandwiches. Growing up these are what we called "subway sandwiches". And I had no idea until I was older that a "subway sandwich" was anything else. :)

This recipe was discovered because I was looking for a way to freeze French Bread for picnics so that I wouldn't always have to go to the store every time we wanted to have a French Bread sandwich. As you know French Bread usually comes in really long loaves that don't fit in regular sized freezer bags. I thought about just buying the big loaves and then cutting it to fit in the bags and freeze...but what I really wanted was a recipe that was healthier and tastier than the French Bread that you buy in the store.  Then I thought about making the French Bread and then cutting it to fit in the bags and freeze...and then I thought, Why not just make smaller loaves that will fit in the bags in the first place? And so I did! And these delicious, crusty French Bread subs came about. Now I'm so excited because my freezer is stocked with them so I can have a picnic whenever I want! 

French Bread Subs

*Makes six 6"subs

2 Cups hot water ( >110° F)
1 Cup sour dough starter
2 Tbsp. oil
1 Tbsp. white sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 Cups wheat flour, freshly ground white wheat
2 Tbsp. Instant yeast
2-4 Cups White Flour

Preheat oven to 400° F. Place a metal pan with 2” of water in the bottom of the oven to create steam when the bread is baking. This gives the bread a nice crispy texture. Prepare a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with semolina flour sprinkled on top or use parchment paper.

The easiest method of making this recipe is to use a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment.  Start with the mixer off. To the bowl of the mixer, combine water, sour dough starter, oil, white sugar, and salt. Next add the whole wheat flour and the yeast on the very top. Now turn the mixer on, and start adding white flour, a half cup at a time until the dough cleans the sides of the mixer bowl. Then let the mixer mix the dough for 6 minutes. Letting the dough mix will develop the gluten in the dough so that it will stick together and give a nice texture to the bread.

Once the dough is kneaded, turn off the mixer and divide the dough into 6 pieces. Roll and shape each piece into a 6” long sub. Then place the subs on the prepared pan. Let the subs rise until double. Once the subs have risen, bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes at 400° F. Then drop the temperature to 350° F and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the subs are golden brown and crusty. Remove from the oven and let the subs cool. Makes a delicious sandwich bread!

*This recipe freezes well. I like to double the recipe and keep them in my freezer for a spontaneous picnic.

Recipe Source: healthyfamilycookin.blogspot.com

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