French bread, also called as 'une baguette', is a traditional food in France. The delicious crunchy bread, with a crispy outer layer and a soft center, is 'typically' 60 cm long and weighs 500 grams. Eating French bread for breakfast is a healthy way to kick-start the day, as it contains no fat. This is the reason why it is served at all the three meals in France. It takes a bit of time and effort to make French bread at home, but all the hard work is worthwhile! Freshly baked, crusty and crispy loaf of homemade bread, served with molten butter, is a true delight for the taste buds! Learning how to make French bread is very easy. All you need to take care of is the right consistency of the dough and the temperature of the oven. In case you need any help in making homemade French bread, make use of the recipe provided below.
How to Make French Bread
- 6 cups All-purpose Flour
- 2 packets Active Dry Yeast
- 1 tbsp Sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp Salt
- 2 cups Warm Water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
- 1 tbsp Yellow Cornmeal
- 1 Egg White
- 1 tbsp Water
- Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water and add sugar. Wait for 5 minutes or until it turns bubbly.
- In a large bowl, mix 2 cups of all-purpose flour, salt and the dissolved yeast. Stir in the remaining 1 1/2 cups of warm water. Beat the mixture using a blender.
- Add the remaining flour into the mixture. Stir the mixture using a wooden spoon.
- Dust an even surface with a thin layer of flour. Knead the flour on the surface for 2 to 10 minutes, to make smooth and elastic dough.
- Shape the dough into a ball and keep it in a greased bowl, covered with a lid. Let the dough rest in a warm place until it gets doubled.
- After the dough is doubled, punch it down and divide it into two halves. Again, turn out onto a floured surface. Cover it and let it rest for 10 minutes.
- Roll both the halves of dough into large rectangles. Moist the ends of the dough, using water and seal.
- Sprinkle cornmeal over a greased baking tray and place the loaves over it, side by side.
- Mix beaten egg with 1 tbsp water. Brush the crust of the dough with the egg-water mix. Cover it with damp cloth. Let it rest for 40 minutes, until it is doubled.
- Make four diagonal cuts, about 1/4 inch deep, across the loaves. This will give the typical shape of a French bread.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- In the preheated oven, bake the loaves for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, take out the loaves and again brush with a layer of egg-water mixture.
- Bake the loaves for another 15 minutes, until they turn golden brown.
- Remove the bread from baking tray after it is fully done.
- Cool the French bread on a wire rack and serve it with molten butter.