Posted via Jessica’s Blog
I’m a sucker for fresh out of the oven French Bread. I get my love of bread from my dad who also adores all that is starchy. My mouth is watering as I type this. Just the thought of warm bread on my tongue puts mybody as ease. For me, bread is the ultimate comfort food.
I’ve made bread a handful of time and have never made it like I get it at the bread store. My bread never develops a hard flaky crust…well, that’s until I found out a secret. This secret costs nothing and yet gives my bread so much beauty and texture, you’ll be surprised at what it is. And I’ll share it with you here. I stumbled upon this tip while researching how to make sourdough bread. The baker recommended spritzing the bread with water when it cooked. So I tried it, and it works! My bread now has that crispy top layer that is flaky and delicious. Who knew?
The other item I have in my arsinal is my hook attachment on my Kitchen Aid mixer. Long gone are the days of kneeding my dough by hand, wiping my brow of sweat and keeding some more. Now I simply use my hook attachment and breath easy. I love it!
And here’s one of my favorite bread recipes. It’s simple, easy and classic.
Better Homes and Gardens French Bread
5 1/2 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
2 packages dry active yeast
2 cups warm water
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 slightly beaten egg
1 tablespoon water
Combine 2 cups flour, the yeast and 1 1/2 tablespoons salt in a large mixing bowl. Add warm water. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping the bowl. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a spoon stir in as much remaining flour as you can.
Knead dough with hook for 8-10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Shape into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise for 1 hour.
Punch dough down. Divide in half. Cover, and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll each half into a 15X10 in rectangle. Roll up from long sides and seal well. Pinch and pull ends to taper. Place seam side down on a greased baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Combine egg white and water; brush over loaves. Cover; let rise till nearly double (35-45 minutes). With a sharp knife, make diagonal cuts about 1/4 inch deep across top of each loaf.
Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minuts. Spritz with water and brush egg whites over top. Every 5-10 minutes continue to spritz while in the oven. Cook for 15-20 minutes till the bread is done. Remove from baking sheet and cool.