Easy Baked French Loaf
With the rising costs of buying a loaf bread, I'm sure that many people are opting to bake their own bread.
I can remember as a child going to the store to purchase a loaf of bread. My grandmother would give me a quarter for the bread, and I'd be allowed to spend the remaining three cents for some candy. Okay so that was back in the 1960s but when you stop and think about what you pay now doesn't make your go WOW!
Currently in Ontario, Canada if you can find bread on sale for under $2.00 a loaf you are doing good. Most stores charge anywhere from $3.00 and upwards, and personally I find this ridiculous. If you have say a family of four and are making lunches everyday along with what you use for breakfast that's a lot of loaves.
Now that I have all that off my chest I will get back to my bread recipe that I enjoy making.
Crusty French Loaf Bread
This crusty French bread goes well with homemade soup and stews, or with any of your favorite pasta dishes. Use it for your favorite bruschetta, sub or hoagie sandwich. Easily make cheesy garlic bread.
This recipe will make two loaves, and is made using a stand mixer but you can do it all by hand.
- 2/3 cup of warm water
- 2 ¼ teaspoons of active dry yeast or 1 package of yeast
- 3 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 cup of cake flour
- 2 tsp. fine sea salt
- 1 cup of cold water
- 1/3 cup of wheat germ
- a little extra flour to dust the bread and your hands
Instructions for mixing the ingredients
- Put the warm water into your stand mixers bowl and stir in yeast and 1 tablespoon of the all-purpose flour. Let it stand for 5-6 minutes until it foams and bubbles.
- While waiting for your yeast to bubble combine 3 cups of all-purpose flour with ½ cup of the cake flour, wheat germ and salt.
- Add the cold water and flour mixture to the yeast mixture.
- Inserting your dough hook, mix for one minute or until the ingredients look like a batter.
- Add remaining four mixture one tablespoon at a time and keep mixing until a ball forms on your dough hook. Let the mixer keep going for about 4 minutes, which will allow the dough to knead.
Next steps for making the bread
- Dust your hands with flour and remove the dough ball.
- Dust the dough ball with flour, and place it into a large bowl.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
- After an hour the dough will have doubled its size. You now want to punch it down, cover it and let it rise until it has doubled in size again.
- One last time punch it down and this time divide the dough in half.
- Make each half into a long narrow loaf about 18” long.
- Put both onto a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper.
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap and after about 45 minutes the loaves will have doubled in size..
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Dust loaves with flour and put 6 slashes in the top of the loaves about ¼ inch deep.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Bread should have a hollow sound to it when tapped. Cool and slice.
- Serve and ENJOY!
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