|The first one took less that 5 minutes to be polished off - I kid you not!|
When I scoured the web for a good recipe, little did I know I was going to end up following a you tube demo of the least complicated recipe out there - The only thing you need to do if you are following him, is cut back on the salt!!!! either he made a mistake when he said 1tbsp instead of 1 tsp or he just likes his bread way too salty. Otherwise, the recipe was first rate - no fuss and most importantly NO oil - he saves the butter for the end.
Anyway, your search for a fabulous loaf of french bread end right here mes amies.
4 cups of flour (I used Pillsbury bread flour) AFP Or half and half of AFP and whole wheat - I guess you can play around with this :)
1 tbsp fast acting yeast
1 cup + warm water
1tsp of salt
Mix dry ingredients flour and salt together in a bowl.
Mix the yeast in about 1/2 cup of warm water stir it in and pour into the flour
Add 1/2 more cup of warm water and nix until the dough is coming off the sides of the bowl
Transfer on to floured counter surface
Knead for a couple of minutes until you can make a smooth ball
Place back in bowl and put a plastic grocery bag over it (or saran wrap) and allow it to rise for 2 hours
Dust the works surface with flour
After which, take the dough, knead a couple of time and cut into 2 equal halves
Roll them out long, flatten with a few karate chops creating a dent down the middle
Bring the corners together by pinching
Repeat a couple of times, it is kinda fun to do :)
At this time, preheat oven to 400
The pinched side becomes the bottom as you roll it over
Be sure you have the surface is lightly floured so that the balls are not sticking to them
Now take a sharp regular knife and slash a few times down the middle to give it "the look" besides other scientific reasons.
Repeat with the other ball -
Now allow them to sit for another hour or 2 depending on when you need to have it ready
It will rise again, giving that fuller look to the loaf
Turn the temp of the oven to 350
Before placing in the oven, throw about 1/2 cup of water to create a moisture in the oven.
Cook for 35 minutes or until the top is brown
Remove and serve hot with olive oil, freshly grated romano or parmesan and a hint garlic. Or just put a tsp of butter and watch it melt into the loaf as you take your first bite :)
This bread is incredibly soft on the inside and has an interesting and desired crusty outer shell -
Enjoy folks - the process is really simple albeit long as are the explanations just so you can get a perfect picture of it -
I back this up with a pictorial now and another Stuffed bread recipe of which there is a sneak peak on my FB page :)
|good ole grocery bag - a new trick I learnt :)|
|Doubled in size|
|Shaped and Risen|
|check out the steam|
|A Freshly cut piece :) the room was filled with the wonderful smell of warm bread|
|Not much kneading required to get these fab layers inside|
|See the butter melting yo!|
|My happy smile depicted in the cut :)|
|The back of the bread|