Cooking

Ty’s Delicious Homemade French Bread

Homemade French BreadThis homemade french bread will disappear before it has even come to room temperature. Ty perfected this recipe before the boys were born and he would bake two loaves every weekend.

I’m one lucky gal. Sometimes he’d bake with his shirt off and I would just watch. No lie.

Anyway…we originally purchased the pans for the bread at Crate & Barrel, but it appears they are no longer in stock there. It looks like you can purchase a pan identical to what we use on Amazon for only $15.

For this batch, Ty put criss-cross markings along the bread before baking instead of a one-way diagonal. I believe the one-way diagonal is best as when we cut the bread, the criss-cross pattern caused it to break apart a little to easily.

I love eating this bread with some cheese as a crostini, toasted with some balsamic vinegar and grated Parmesan or even at breakfast drizzled with olive oil, honey and a dash of salt (sounds weird, but don’t knock it yet).

According to Julia Child, French bread is made only with flour, water, salt and yeast because that is the law in France. After reading this in her famous cookbook, I thought perhaps she was being dramatic, but apparently there’s really a law about what constitutes “French bread” in that delicious country. In retrospect, it makes sense considering how adamant we Americans are about knowing exactly what’s in our food.

Here is Ty’s recipe yielding two loaves:

  • 4 cups bread flower (plus a little more for kneading)
  • 2 cups water (luke warm)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp dry yeast
  • 4 tsp salt
  • approx 4 tbsp olive oil

Place a ban of water on the lowest rack in oven with another rack just above it. Dissolve honey in water, add yeast and let it sit in a warm place for about 30 min until the mixture is quite foamy. Stir together salt, flour and slowly add the yeast to the flour mixture. It may be necessary to add flour until the dough easily forms a ball.

Turn it out onto a floured surface and knead for about a minute. Place the dough ball into a bowl with 1 tbsp oil and turn it to coat. Place wax paper lightly on top of dough and place in a warm place (100° to 110° – no warmer) to rise for about 45 min to 1 hour until it has doubled in size.

Repeat above: Turn it out onto a floured surface and knead for about a minute. Place the dough ball into a bowl with 1 tbsp oil and turn it to coat. Place wax paper lightly on top of dough and place in a warm place (100° to 110° – no warmer) to rise for about 45 min to 1 hour until it has doubled in size.

Turn out the dough ball onto a flour surface and divide into 2 loaves to place in the bread pan coating with oil. Cover with wax paper and allow it to rise to double in size. Use a small knife to cut diagonal slits upon the top of the dough.

Preheat oven to 400°. Bake 20 to 45 min until crusty. Remove and allow to cool and enjoy!

 

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