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French bread

This bread needed a little attention, because the recipe called for mixing the dough for 10 seconds every 10 minutes for a total of 5 times. I thought it seemed kind of weird, but that’s essentially what bread machines do. Plus, the dough rose a little bit each time I mixed, so that was really cool. The bread was firm enough for slicing and made a great panini. I made one big loaf and 4 pretty big sub rolls. The crust was chewy but not crunchy, so this bread is pretty versatile. Almost as good as the French bread from Albertson’s that I got so excited about as a kid. It wasn’t quite as soft as the store French bread, probably because I threw in some bread flour so the bread would be firm enough for paninis. It probably wasn’t necessary though. I also could have added a little too much flour. As long as the dough clears the sides of the bowl (not the bottom) before starting the rise/mix cycle, it’s ok. After a cycle or two, the dough comes together better. To make the loaves look prettier, I need to roll out more evenly and fold in the edges better.

Grandma’s French Bread (Sister’s Cafe, My Kitchen Cafe)


2 ¼ c. warm water
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp yeast
1 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp oil
5 ½ -6 cups flour-stirred before measured

First dissolve sugar and yeast in the warm water. Let this proof—or sit for a few minutes until it bubbles. Then add salt, oil and 3 cups of flour and beat well (At this point I switch to my dough/kneading attachment on my Bosch mixer) Add in 2 1/2 -3 more cups of flour. The dough should clean off the sides of the bowl and not be too sticky. Knead for a few minutes. Leave the dough in the mixer to rest for 10 minutes and then stir it down (turn on your mixer for 10 seconds) and then allow to rest another 10 minutes. Repeat for a total of 5 times. Then turn dough onto a floured surface and knead it 2 or 3 times to coat with flour. Divide into 2 equal parts. Roll each part into a 9×13 rectangle. Roll dough up, starting from long edge of loaf to seal. Arrange seam side down on large baking sheet that’s been sprinkled with corn meal, allowing room for both loaves. Repeat with second part of dough. With a sharp knife, cut 3 gashes at an angle on the top of each. Cover lightly; allow to rise 30 minutes. Brush entire surface with egg wash (one egg beaten slightly with 1 Tbsp of water). If desired, sprinkle with sesame seads. Bake for 30 minutes at 375. Cool on racks

NOTE: For a crustier loaf, a pan of hot water may be set on bottom of oven while bread is baking


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