Sunday, 28 July 2013

Easy French Bread Recipe

Previous bread making experiences have usually resulted in some sort of dense, brick-like "bread" that even a slathering of garlic butter and a good toast in the oven couldn't fix. My family was probably hesitant when I told them I was attempting bread again. They can only cough out a "yeah...delicious" while choking on my bread-bricks so many times.

Whatever inspired me to try another bread recipe, I'm sure glad it did. After success with this easy french loaf, I've been hooked on bread making. The ingredients are so simple, and yet there are thousands of different styles of bread to be made. Nothing beats the taste of a preservative-free, homemade bread loaf warm from the oven. And you get to feel like some kind of old-world artesian baker.

Ready in an afternoon, this easy whole wheat bread recipe requires no bread machine. I don't own one and I've been able to make so many different bread recipes with good old-fashioned kneading.

With just one bowl and a few simple ingredients, you can have a french loaf ready in time for dinner.

Easy French Bread
 Adapted from

-1 package active dry yeast (or 2 and 1/4 teaspoons) 
-1/4 cup warm water
-1 cup water
-2 teaspoons sugar
-2 tablespoons + 1 and 1/2 teaspoons oil

-3 cups flour (I used 1 cup whole wheat, 2 cups all-purpose)
-1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt

 -1 egg white
-Sesame or flax seeds (optional)


In a large bowl, combine 1/4 cup warm water and sugar. Stir to dissolve sugar, then sprinkle in the yeast. Allow to sit for 10 minutes, until the mixture is foamy.

Stir the oil and remaining cup of water into the yeast mixture. Next, add about half of the flour and stir to create a sticky paste.

Sprinkle in the salt, then slowly add more flour a little at a time. Continue mixing until all flour is combined (this is certainly easier with a stand mixture, but good old-fashioned kneading works too!). Continue mixing or kneading for five minutes, until a soft, slightly sticky dough forms. If dough is too wet, add flour a tablespoon at a time.

Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place for one hour.

After dough has risen, sprinkle your countertop with flour and squish the dough into a large rectangle. Roll the rectangle into a large log, starting at the long edge. Pinch the edges to seal, and place seam-side down on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Allow to rise, loosely covered, for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400F. After dough has finished rising, brush the loaf with the egg white and sprinkle on seeds if desired. Using a sharp knife, make three slashes across the loaf.

Bake in the oven for approximately 35 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and sounds hollow when you knock on it. I had to cover my loaf with foil after 15 minutes to prevent the crust from over-browning.

Have you made bread before? If you have a favourite recipe, please share!

1 comment:

  1. i've always shied away from trying to make my own french bread, but this recipe looks super easy and delicious!