Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Easiest French Bread Ever!

I love how easy this French Bread recipe is.  I think the most annoying thing about making bread is the kneading process.  Even with a mixer you have to stand there and add flour a little at a time.  But with this recipe, you have dough done and ready to raise in like 2 minutes.

Best and Easiest French Bread
3 1/2 cups flour
1.5 tsp rapid rise yeast
2 tsp salt
scant 1.5 cups water (100-110 degrees)
1 tsp oil
cornmeal (to sprinkle on baking sheet)

Place flour, yeast, and salt in food processor w/ steel blade, pulse to combine.  Turn machine on and dump water and oil in quickly.  Dough should look like a "hairy ball."  It will be sticky.  If it doesn't hold a shape, it's too runny, add more flour.  If it's not sticky at all, add a tablespoon or two more water.  It will look about like this:
Place in greased bowl, cover and let rest until double in size (1 hour).  Recipe states that 2 hours is better for flavor and if you want to let is raise all day for even more flavor, refrigerate for up to 8 hours.
Dump onto floured surface and let rest 15 minutes.  Shape into ball and place on greased baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal.
Cover and let rest until double (about an hour).  Then, slash the top with a sharp knife.  Can I just say, this part freaks me out a bit?  I have not slashed the top before when making this just because I am always afraid my dough will deflate, right before I put it in the oven.  This time it went pretty well.  I had a really sharp knife (or you can use a razor blade) and I didn't really push down, I just slid it gently across the top of the dough.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Put the bread in and spray the walls and door of oven with a water bottle to create steam.  Then spray every few minutes in the first 15 minutes of cooking.  Bake about 40 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when you tap on it.  Remove from oven and wrap in a towel for 15 minutes before slicing.  It makes it harder to smash the bread when sliced.
It still takes a little time, but it's the easiest french bread I have ever made.

Recipe From:  How To Cook Everything: Simple Recipes for Great Food by Mark Bittman


  1. Replies
    1. Nope, no sugar. Of course, you can add a tsp or two if you'd like....


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