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.

Cook Time

Prep time: 3 hours
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 3 hours 30 min
Yields: 2 Loaves
Crusty French Bread
Crusty French Bread | Source

Ingredients

  • 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Add the cold water and flour mixture to the yeast mixture.
  4. Inserting your dough hook, mix for one minute or until the ingredients look like a batter.
  5. 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

  1. Dust your hands with flour and remove the dough ball.
  2. Dust the dough ball with flour, and place it into a large bowl.
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
  4. 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.
  5. One last time punch it down and this time divide the dough in half.
  6. Make each half into a long narrow loaf about 18” long.
  7. Put both onto a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper.
  8. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and after about 45 minutes the loaves will have doubled in size..
  9. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  10. Dust loaves with flour and put 6 slashes in the top of the loaves about ¼ inch deep.
  11. Bake for 30 minutes. Bread should have a hollow sound to it when tapped. Cool and slice.
  12. Serve and ENJOY!

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Comments 39 comments

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

2patricias, I hope that you try it. If you like chocolate I'm sure you'll like this recipe. The chocolate is not overwhelming but does add a nice extra sweetness to the bread.


2patricias profile image

2patricias 4 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

I've never heard of chocolate zucchini bread, but I like chocolate with just about anything.

I have added this to my Recipe Index for HubPages (under courgettes/zucchini).

Also, voted up.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Matthew, Nice to meet you. Welcome to HubPages, and thank you for the tips.


Matthew Kirk profile image

Matthew Kirk 4 years ago from Liverpool

You should use bread flour for the french bread, that and rubbing in some butter will make it brown better. Bread flour will make it ever lighter... contains more gluten.

Also if you're after activity from the yeast you're right not to add sugar but try using warm water instead of cold... longer proving time better taste though!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon

Awesome! Making it this afternoon!


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Steph, It freezes really well. Sometimes I will slice it heat it up a bit and then butter it. Hope that you and your family enjoy this. And Thank you :)

1 1/2 cups of sugar :) Thanks again.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon

Quick question - is there sugar in the zucchini bread recipe? I didn't see it in the ingredients and want to make sure I wasn't missing it. :) Thanks!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon

So thrilled to find the chocolate zucchini bread recipe! It sounds really easy to make, too. I love making the mini loaves, too. In my house, I can imagine we would double or triple the recipe as well so we have some in the freezer. Cannot wait to try it! Best, Steph


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Durant, Thanks for your comments and for coming by.


Durant profile image

Durant 5 years ago from Canada

Yes, bread is too expensive in Ontario. I tried Ace bread recently and I love that. But I really should start to bake my own. Great article!


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

RH, :)

eisutton, Let me know how it turns out and thanks for coming by and for your comments.


eisutton profile image

eisutton 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Susan, as usual, I love your hub. I have not made bread in a while. I have been thinking of making some sourdough starter and doing it again. I may just start with your french bread recipe.


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Didn't think of that....ill keep trying! Lol


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

ktrapp, Since writing this hub the prices have continued to rise. Time for me to start using my bread maker. Thanks for your comments.

RH, I've made my share of hard loaves too. They make great weapons :)

Snurre, You're welcome and thank you.

DzyMsLizzy, I've had that San Francisco Sourdough and man is it good! Thanks for your comments and reminding me of the sourdough that I used to be able to get :)


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 5 years ago from Oakley, CA

This sounds good, and I'm sure it is...however, as a born-and-raised San Francisco native, I am spoiled rotten by genuine San Francisco sourdough French bread. ;-)

It cannot be made anywhere else. It is true. They've taken the exact recipe to various cities around the world, including Paris, and it simply cannot be duplicated elsewhere. The conclusion of the study claimed it was something to do with the climate.

The chocolate zucchini bread...hmmm...I'll have to give it a try. I do like zucchini bread, but it never would have occurred to me to add chocolate. As a devout chocoholic, I tend to like my chocolate "unadulterated." ;-)

Both of these recipes bear trying out. Bookmarked and voted up.


Snurre profile image

Snurre 5 years ago

Oh, yum yum yum!!! Thanks for posting this, Susan!


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

This was first on the homepage a second ago! I love making my own bread...it doesn't love me though and it only ever smells so good:) Once - I made a French loaf that looked beautiful - just gorgeous! Too bad it was hard and totally inedible! lol

I am going to try again with this one tho...who knows!


ktrapp profile image

ktrapp 5 years ago from Illinois

Susan, You started off your article about the price of a loaf of bread. The price has also most definitely risen in the U.S., as well but I have also now noticed that the loaves of bread sold in stores in shrinking. I think instead of raising the price, they are shrinking the product. Which makes homemade bread-making even more of a smart thing to do.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Loveslove, The next small kitchen appliance on my list is a BreadMaker it would make life so much simpler have to ask you though do you get that same wonderful smell with a bread maker?


Loveslove profile image

Loveslove 5 years ago from England

There is nothing quite like 'Home made bread' yummy !! and the smell is something else.

I make my own bread most of the time but i have to confess that I usually use a BreadMaker ...that way all the hard work is taken out of the job but the results are the same....


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Vicki you are very welcome thanks for stopping by.


Vicki.Pierce profile image

Vicki.Pierce 5 years ago from Grand Rapids, Michigan

Mmmmmmm.....I see bread making in my near future! Thanks for the recipes!


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

prasetio and 2besure I think I may just spend the day tomorrow making bread. Thanks for reading and commenting.


2besure profile image

2besure 5 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

I have a friend that always make her own bread. Her kitchen smells so good when she is baking. I made bread it think once or twice. I might try making it a little more often. You have inspired me. Voted up!


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

Susan... you made me hungry. It looks delicious. I love bread and homemade must be special. Thanks for share this recipes. I'll show this to my mom. Vote up. Take care!

Prasetio


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Merlin thank you so much...I will be watching for it.


Merlin Fraser profile image

Merlin Fraser 5 years ago from Cotswold Hills

Hi Susan,

I won't take over you Hub with a Recipe but I'll put it in a Hub of its own just for you.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Hi Merlin

I agree the smell is fabulous! I would love the recipe for your sun dried tomato and cheese bread sounds so good!


Merlin Fraser profile image

Merlin Fraser 5 years ago from Cotswold Hills

There's nothing quite like the smell of bread baking and even in the dead of winter our one local 'Real' Baker leaves his door open to get the smell out into the street.

I love making my own bread and equally experimenting with breads from all over the place.

I found a great one for sun dried tomato and cheese bread that makes one hell of a base for a Pizza !


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

sarclair if you like chocolate you will love this bread.

sweetie thanks for stopping by

Pam Home made food tastes so much better!

Thanks everyone.


cookingdiva 5 years ago

Susan,

I like Zucchini bread at home. I have yet to make french sourdough bread at home successfully, I like the ideas of home made food. Thanks for sharing.

Pam


sweetie1 profile image

sweetie1 5 years ago from India

Nice hub..looks yummy.


sarclair profile image

sarclair 5 years ago

I have never head of Chocolate Zucchini Bread. I am going to have to try this one :) Thanks for the hub.


nightbear profile image

nightbear 5 years ago from Michiagn, USA

Well that is interesting and good to know. I think I'll give this recipe a try using bread flour ( I don't have any cake flour) this weekend. I love baking bread.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

nightbear as for the wheat germ If you make your own bread or cakes you can easily add wheat germ when baking by using it instead of a small amount of flour. You will find that it has a sweet, almost nutty flavor that is not too overpowering. Hope this answers your questions.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

nightbear I've been making this bread for about 7 years now and the recipe does work and does taste good. As for the sugar: Purist bakers will sometimes make the case that adding sugar to the proofing liquid for active dry yeast is not necessary. And the truth is, it isn't. Active dry yeast will proof just fine without sugar, allbeit a little more slowly. But what the added sugar does is increase the yeast's activity. And this is especially important when you are trying to revive common active dry yeast from its freeze-dried stupor.


nightbear profile image

nightbear 5 years ago from Michiagn, USA

Yes, I wonder the same as Will Starr, what about bread flower. What do the cake flour and wheat germ do for the bread? And this is the first recipe with yeast that I haven't seen a little sugar for the yeast to eat. Very unique for me. And the chocolate zucchini bread. Wow!


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

WillStarr no I have not but I do not see why you couldn't I think it would probably make the bread a bit chewier.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Have you ever made this using just bread flour rather than all-purpose and cake flour? I wonder if that will work.

Cool Hub!

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