Friday, February 5, 2010

Fast French Bread

This bread is really fast, only an hour or an hour-and-a-half from getting out the ingredients to eating warm, crusty, soft French Bread! What can beat that?
I found the recipe on this great mommy-blogger site and let's just say we'll be making it again! It made three loaves, of which we ate about 1/2 loaf at dinner that night, saved the other half for the next day and froze 4 half-loaves (just let thaw on the counter for a couple of hours wrapped in foil and pop in a 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes and it's like fresh-from-the oven bread again). Yum!! Not bad work for less than 2 hours total prep-work including rising and baking time.
Don't our pictures make you want some for yourself?? For those of you who love photos, doesn't James' new lens make you want one for yourself??

No Fail Quick French Bread (Found at Gourmet Mom on-the Go)
1 T shortening
1 T salt
2 T sugar
1 C boiling water
1 C cold water
1/3 C lukewarm water
1 T yeast (cut your yeast in half if you are at a high altitude)
4 1/2 C - 6 C flour
1 egg

1. Place the 1 C hot water in the microwave for 3 minutes to get it boiling.
2. Dissolve the yeast into the warm water. Stir it around until it is all mixed.
3. Combine the salt, shortening, and sugar in the bottom of your mixer with a fork. The dough hook doesn't work very well.
4. Pour the boiling water over the shortening mixture.
5. Pour the cold water over the mixture.
6. Pour the warm water and yeast into the mixer.
7. Begin to add the flour, one cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the side of your mixer.
8. Let the dough mix on high for 8 minutes.
9. Let the dough rise in the mixer for about 20 minutes. (This step can actually be skipped if you are in a hurry!)
10. Separate the dough into three parts and place on a large jelly roll pan sprayed with cooking spray. Let the dough sit for about 5 minutes. Letting it sit will make it MUCH easier to shape.
11. Spread the dough out into a large (12"x18" or so) rectangle.
12. Then roll the dough up on the short side--you should know have an approximately 18" long rope of dough.
14. Turn the loaf so the seam side is down. Repeat these steps with the other 2 parts of dough.
15. Spray a sharp knife with cooking spray.
16. Make your egg wash by whisking the egg until frothy.
17. Cut three diagonal slits in the top of each loaf. Cover with the egg wash being sure to get it into all of the slits.
18. Place the loaves in a warm 170 degree oven and let rise for about 15 minutes.
19. Turn the oven up to 375 degrees for a convection oven, and 400 degrees for a regular oven. Leave the loaves in while the oven increases in temperature.
20. Bake for 10 minutes convection or 15 regular oven, or until the loaves are golden brown and crusty.
21. Turn the oven down to 325 for convection, 350 for regular and turn the pan around in the oven. Bake for another 7 minutes convection or 10 minutes for regular.


The Kampers said...

I have been looking for a tried and true french bread recipe! I am going to try this next week!

kristin noel said...

That looks scrumptious! You should (if you haven't already) check out the book Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. It's like living in a bakery! I can make a loaf, pizza dough, biscuits, whatever in minutes!