Wednesday, April 1, 2015

One Hour French Bread

I've been on the lookout for a quick and easy (and healthy of course) French Bread recipe for many many years and I'm excited to tell you that I've found my dream recipe and it's fabulously easy and delicious. It comes together in just over an hour! That's right, I can hardly believe it myself. Most French Bread recipes I've tried take babying for several hours and frankly I just don't have that kind of time. I needed a recipe that was straight forward and easy and tasted amazing. Well here it is folks. Happy to share it with ya.

One Hour French Bread
Printable Recipe

*Makes 3 loaves

2-1/3 Cup water, heated until quite warm ( >110° F) *I put mine in the microwave for 2-3 minutes to heat it
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. real salt
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
2-3 Cups freshly ground whole white wheat flour
1 Tbsp. SAF instant yeast
3-4 Cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 egg

In a Bosch mixer with the dough hook add the heated water, sugar, salt, and coconut oil. Next add 2-3 Cups of freshly ground white whole-wheat flour and put the yeast on top of the flour. Turn on the mixer and mix on low speed. With the mixer still on, slowly add in the 3-4 Cups of unbleached flour, 1 Cup at a time. You will know you've added enough when the dough starts to pull away from the sides as well as the center of the mixer. Since these loaves are free standing you want the dough to be slightly firmer than you would for loaves you place in bread pans. Once you've added the correct amount of flour, let the dough mix for 6-8 minutes. The dough should be very elastic, but not stiff. 

Once the dough is mixed, let it rest in the bowl for 5 minutes.

Grease a large cookie sheet. After the dough has rested in the bowl, place it on the cookie sheet. Cut the dough into 3 equal pieces. Then let it rest again for 5 minutes. (Make sure to not skip over the resting periods. These are important to the final product.) While the dough is resting preheat the oven to 170 F. 

After the dough has rested for the second time you will shape it into the loaves. Take one section of dough and spread it with your fingers out into a rectangle. Fold one long end up over half of the dough, then fold the other half over that one. Then fold each side up over each other. Turn the loaf so it is seam down and press in the sides to make it look nice and smooth. Repeat with the other two pieces of dough. With a sharp knife, cut 3 angled 1/2" deep slits in the top of the dough.

Crack the egg in a small bowl and whisk with a fork until frothy. Spread the egg over the tops of each loaf, making sure to get inside the slits. Place the loaves in the oven and let them rise for 15 minutes (while the oven is at 170 F). The turn the oven up to 400 F (while the loaves are still inside) and bake for 15 minutes. Turn the oven down to 350 F and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Remove the loaves from the baking sheet and allow them to cool before slicing them.

*Note: We like to use the leftover French bread for french toast the next day

*Recipe Source: Adapted from a recipe found at Life in the Lofthouse, simplified mixing method, adapted to be partially whole-wheat

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