French Bread

So as you may have guessed based on the title of my blog, I enjoy French food. All it took was a trip to Paris, and I am now forever in love with French baked goods. Croissants, baguettes, and many many more items.

And yet, it has taken me until now to make my own French baguette. But now that I have done it, I plan to keep trying different recipes and learning all of the different variations.

This one, has to be one of the easiest versions. And I definitely recommend it if you want some fresh bread to go along with dinner (we ended up turning some of it into garlic bread).

Recipe adapted from here.

1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 packet instant dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg white
Wax paper
Semolina flour or cornmeal for dusting

1. To get started, combine the whole wheat flour with the yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the bread attachment. Next, add in the water, olive oil, and sugar. Make sure to mix until it is all incorporated. Now add the all-purpose flour and continue mixing until the dough starts to pull away from the bowl of the mixer.

Once it has formed a ball, place it onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it is a smooth ball.

2. Now roll the dough out into a 12 inch by 15 inch rectangle.

3.   Then you want to roll it up lengthwise as tightly as possible. Once your dough is rolled up into a long log, you want to seal each end by kind of scrunching up the dough with your fingers. You’re basically just sealing the ends so the dough does not open up and unroll in the oven.

4. Now, get a piece of parchment paper out and dust it with cornmeal or semolina flour. Set the dough on this sheet (put the open seam facing downwards, again so it does not open up).

5. Next, get out a sharp knife and cut slits in the top of the loaf. You probably want 4-5 slits. In a small bowl, mix an egg white with one tablespoon of water. Use a brush to brush the top and sides of the loaf with this egg wash.

6. Now set the bread, on the parchment paper, in a warm place and let it rise for one hour until it is doubled in size.

7. While the bread is rising, you want to preheat your oven. If you are using a pizza stone, you can also preheat this in the oven. Once the oven is heated, and the bread is done rising, place the parchment paper with the bread directly onto the pizza stone. Unfortunately, my bread was too big for my stone, so I ended up curving it slightly to fit. Bake the bread for about 20 minutes. When it is done, it should sound hollow.

Now enjoy! Like I said above, you can easily cut this loaf into half and turn it into garlic bread (just add some minced garlic and butter and place back in the oven) or a rustic grilled cheese (add some cheese, pesto, and whatever else and place back into the oven to melt).


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