French Bread

I’ve made this bread many times and if you have a mixer with a dough hook, it is possibly one of the simplest bread recipes you will ever find. The measurements are for two small French baguettes but I usually make smaller rolls which can then be frozen and used as required.

Recipe:
1 cup warm water
1 tblsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp yeast (or one sachet)
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1 egg yolk

Method:
Add the sugar and yeast to the warm water in the mixer bowl until the yeast activates and it starts to bubble (see photo below). Add the salt and the flour. Use dough hook or stir quickly until the mixture comes together. If using a mixer, turn down to the lowest speed and let dough hook do its work for 10 minutes. If your doing this by hand, knead well for 10 minutes and have someone on hand to keep wiping your brow (do not allow sweat to enter the mixture).
Once kneaded, place in a greased bowl, cover and leave in a warm area for about 30 minutes until the dough has doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 190C, 375F, gas 5.
Punch down the dough and then roll out on a floured surface until about 1/2 cm thick. Cut into portions. The size of the portions depend on what size rolls or baguettes you want. Roll the dough tightly, pounding out any air bubbles as you go. Lay your rolls on a greased baking tray and use a knife to score the top. Cover with a tea towel and leave for another 1/2 hour to rise again.
Mix the egg yolk with some cold water, brush the top of the rolls and cook for about 20-25 minutes.
I bake these for 15 minutes and then let them cool. They are then great for freezing. They can then be cooked for 10-15 minutes from frozen at the same temperature as above and will be perfect.

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Optional kitchen porn:
Kitchenaid mixer with dough hook

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Published in: on January 29, 2012 at 6:45 pm  Leave a Comment  
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