Recipes

Crusty French Bread

Every once and a while I realize I need a mental health break and take a random day off from work. Last week when I took PTO I wanted to have bread with soup since it has been terribly cold here in Maryland. I realized the last time Greg and I went grocery shopping I said I wouldn’t be buying bread any more since it always goes bad before we get to eating it, and I picked up a few packets of yeast instead.

So I opted to try and bake bread for the first time in my life. Would it be dense and brick like? Might it turn out soft and fluffy like a cloud, or would I burn it, this was a chance I had to take and try.

Just a quick note, this process takes a few hours, but it you have others things you need to do around your home its a good time to try it.

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water ( microwaved for 1 min should do it)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 1/2 All purpose flour ( have extra available for the process)

Directions:

  1. Combine the yeast, sugar and warm water in your mixing bowl (stand mixer or regular mixing bowl).
  2. Allow about 5 minutes for the yeast to proof (the mixture should start to foam).
  3. Add salt to the bowl.
  4. Gradually mix in the flour on a slow speed. Make sure all the flour is fully incorporated (when it starts to pull from the sides its getting there!).
  5. Remove the dough from the bowl and lightly flour all sides.
  6. Place in a bowl and cover with a moist tea towel for 1 hour.
  7. Do whatever you need to to for an hour.
  8. When you come back to the dough it should have doubled in size.
  9. Lightly flour a cutting board, and carefully move dough to the board. ( don’t let it move too much, or squish it, you want the air bubbles to stay in the dough).
  10. Add a sprinkling on flour to the top of the dough and begin to shape the dough, pulling each corner toward the middle, but being careful not to squish or pinch.
  11. Place in a proofing basket or a small/medium bowl and cover with tea towel for an additional 30 minutes.
  12. While the bread is rising, preheat you oven with your dutch oven with lid on it to 460 degrees F.
  13. When everything is preheated, careful take the dutch oven out of the oven and slowly and carefully roll the dough into the pot. (seam side up)
  14. Bake for 30 minutes, with lid on the dutch oven.
  15. Remove the lid after 30 minutes and bake for an additional 10-20 minutes to get a brown and crunchy top.
  16. Rest on a cooling rack for 20 minutes.
  17. Enjoy!

 

 

 

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