Monday, September 23, 2013

Delicous French Bread in a flash

I am soo excited about this recipe for French bread that I found. I changed it up a little from the original and I was ecstatic with how it turned out! 3 loaves in just over an hour? NOW THAT'S MY KIND OF BREAD MAKING.
This bread is crunchy on the outside, and soft and chewy on the inside. It stores great in the freezer and thaws in about an our so you can pull it out and add it to your meal. Your family will LOVE it and your home will smell incredible as this bread bakes in the oven.
If you are a beginner to bread making, this is the perfect recipe to try, especially if you have a stand mixer because you don't even have to knead the dough. Its fast and rewarding.
Here's how I did it...
Triple French Bread in a flash:
1 cup boiling water
1/3 cup warm water
1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon shortening
1 cup cold water
 3 cups all purpose flour
3 cups bread flour (bread flour has higher gluten content to make for more chewy bread)
 1 egg
Preheat your oven to 170 degrees.
Next, pour 1 cup of water into a cup and heat in the microwave for 3 minutes so the water is boiling.
Fill another cup with 1/3 cup warm water. Add 1 tablespoon of yeast in the water. Sprinkle in a pinch of sugar (this helps the yeast foam) and stir quickly with a butter knife. Set a towel over the glass and let the yeast start activating.
Pour the sugar, salt and shortening into the bowl of your stand mixer. Mash these ingredients together with a fork that way the Crisco wont stay in little chunks, they will blend with the sugar.
Pour the 1 cup of boiling water over the shortening mixture in the stand mixer. Add the 1 cup of cold water into the mixer. Then pour in the yeast mix (use a spoon to get all of it out of the cup).
Add 3 cups of the all purpose flour into the mixer and turn mixer on low speed. Once this is blended, swap your mixer to your dough hook. Slowly add in the remaining 3 cups of bread flour, 1 cup at a time. Once all 6 cups are in, turn speed to medium and let the dough mix for 6-8 minutes. At this point, you should be able to stick your finger on the dough and it will feel elastic and not too sticky. If it is, add 1/4 cup more flour until it is easier to handle and comes off your finger when you touch it. DO NOT ADD TOO MUCH FLOUR or your bread will be dense and dry.

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

Spray a large cookie sheet with non-stick spray. After the dough has rested in the bowl, dump it onto the greased cookie sheet. Form it with your hands into an oval shape.
Take a sharp knife, spray it with non-stick spray, and cut dough into 3 equal pieces.
**UPDATE** This recipe can also be made into TWO larger loaves by doing the same process but cutting the dough into two pieces instead of three. Once dough is folded, squeeze it a little to lengthen it and you will have two large beautiful loaves! At our house we leave one plain, and slice one in half to smear with garlic butter! You can also use left overs of this bread for homemade French toast the next morning... FOOD COMA!

 Then let it rest again for 5 minutes.

The resting periods are a very important and needed to let the yeast start helping the dough rise and become softer and airy so you end up with chewy delicious bread.

Now for the bread shaping!
Take one section of dough and spread it out into a rectangle. This is easy and the dough is pliable.  Fold one long end up over half of the rectangle, then fold the other half over the top of the fold you just made.
Now you should have the bread shaped into a line shape. Take the bottom and fold it half way up, and then fold the top down over that fold. Then turn the loaf over so it is seam side down. SEE PICTURES BELOW TO BETTER EXPLAIN THE FOLDING PROCESS!
Use your fingers to "smear" and smooth seams down underneath the loaf and shape it. Repeat this process with the other 2 pieces of dough. After this, cut 3 angled 1/2 inch slits onto the tops of dough. (A serrated knife makes this a little easier)
Now crack your egg into a bowl and whisk with a fork until frothy. Spread the egg over the tops of each loaf with a brush, making sure to get inside the slits.
Place the loaves into the preheated oven and let them "rise" for about 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes turn oven up to 400 degrees... leave the bread in the oven and try not to open the door. You want to keep it nice and warm in there. Let the loaves bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until the tops are golden. Now turn the oven down to 350 degrees and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
Remove  the loaves from the oven and place them on a cooling rack. ARENT THE LOVELY?
Original recipe found here.
Here are a few pictures to walk you through the process visually... 


Try it you will love it!
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  1. Excited to try this--yum!! I'm generally too lazy or impatient to wait for bread to rise!

    1. Kristen you will love this. I have been making two larger loaves instead of the three and my family devours it every time! It's fun to have one extra to share with a neighbor or friend. Hope you enjoy it!

  2. oh yummy!!! I am trying this today!! :)


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