February 7, 2013

Homemade French Bread

 Oh, how I love our dog parks!! Denver is such a great place to own a dog. Our favorite park is the giant one up in the mountains, but for our day-to-day visits there is a smaller park a few minutes away. There's always a fun bunch of dogs and owners there, and we have LOTS of fun watching our Beastie and her antics. Yesterday was hilarious! There was a giant Labradoodle that apparently fell in love with us, because he kept coming back, sitting down, and leaning on me. The boys were both attached at my hips (literally) after one too many knock-downs by crowds of dogs, so he would just snuggle right into our group and just sit there. Eventually he started snuggling up against Joe, slowly overbearing him till he was on the ground with a giant dog sitting on him! It was SO funny, I laughed till I couldn't breathe. A good day.

Homemade French Bread (adapted from Alli-n-Sons)
Printable Recipe

2-3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp sugar
1 cups warm water
1 Tb melted butter

1 egg white
1 Tb water

In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Stir in the water and melted butter until well blended. Stir in 1-2 cups more flour, till you get a slightly shaggy dough, not super sticky. (I ended up adding 1 1/2 more cups of flour)

On a lightly floured surface, knead in enough flour to make a stiff dough that is smooth and elastic. Knead for about 8 to 10 minutes total. (Or in a mixer with a dough hook) Shape into a ball and place in a greased bowl, grease the top of the bowl, and cover with plastic wrap or a clean cloth. (I like to spray the dough and bowl with cooking spray) Cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled, 30 min to an hour.

Punch dough down, and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover, and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll the dough into large rectangle. Roll up, starting from a long side. Moisten edges with water and seal. 
Line or grease a large baking sheet. Place loaves, seam side down, on the prepared baking sheet. With a very sharp knife, make 3 or 4 diagonal cuts about 1/4 inch deep across top of each loaf. Cover with a damp cloth/plastic wrap and let rise until nearly doubled, 35 to 40 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Beat egg white and water together and gently brush over the top of your loaf. Bake for 20 minutes. Brush again with egg white mixture. (The egg white mixture will make a harder, crunchy crust. You can also brush with butter or olive oil instead, for a softer crust) Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until the bread sound hollow when tapped. If necessary, cover loosely with foil to prevent over browning. Remove from baking sheet, and cool on a wire rack.
And now you have a lovely loaf of crusty, fluffy french bread, super cheap and pretty darn easy! Mine looks a bit squashed, I let it rise a little too long. No worries! It's very forgiving.
Next time I think I'd try brushing the crust with butter, because while the egg whites made it nice and crunchy, it didn't really add much to the flavor. I tried multiple recipes, and this one was definitely good enough to share!!
Nice and warm, smeared with butter, delicious!! I love bread. :) I'll be making this one again!!


  1. I hate spam commentators like the one above my comment. It's such a horrible thing to do. And their comments never make sense either, just a jumble of works with LINKS thrown in. Bad person, BAD! Go away.

    Now for a real comment. TEN Reasons why I love, LOVE your page: (and YOU)

    1. You always make me smile.
    2. You're enthusiasm for all that you do is catchy.
    3. You bake bread.
    4. You are a dear, dear girl.
    5. You inspire.
    6. again . . . you BAKE bread! I need to take a lesson or two from your book.
    7. You have the cutest kids who happen to live with the cutest mom.
    8. The professor intrigues me, much like the professor on Gilligan's Island did. (Age showing here.)
    9. You like Dogs, kids and corny films.
    10. You have a HUGE heart and a fabulous smile, you SING, and I love you to bits.

    PS - Did I remember to say you bake bread?

  2. I love going to the dog park!! Such a smile-inducing place.

  3. I am in awe of your bread making skills! I've never been able to do it and your looks simply gorgeous!!
    Mary x

  4. Is the recipe for one or two loaves? It looks wonderful, I'll have to give it a try.

    1. One large loaf. You could split it into 2 smaller loaves, or double for 2 large loaves!

  5. I love homemade bread and bake it often, but I have never been able to make french bread rise. With no sugar for the yeast to eat, how do you get a good rise out of the dough?

    1. Whoops!! Good spot Beth, I added a tsp of sugar to help it rise, then forgot to put it in the recipe! I'll go change it :)

  6. This looks Sooooo yummy! I'm a complete junk food junky, but I think bread might actually be my favorite food.

    1. Me too!! I remember thinking "Man, I'm going to run out of bread recipes to try in no time" but it turns out its my new favorite thing to bake, and there are tons of recipes out there!


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