I saw this easy 1 hour French bread recipe floating around Pinterest last week. I looked at it. It looked terribly easy. However, I knew it wouldn’t have enough flavor. So I tweaked the recipe and added sugar and salt … nothing worse than going through the hard work of yeast bread only to have it not taste like anything. Trust me. There’s a bread recipe in my husband’s family cookbook from waaaaaay back. And it is waaaaay bad.
I apologize in advance for iPhone pictures … my USB cable got chewed by my puppy and I can’t upload pictures to my computer. Tragic. Okay. Here we go.
Here’s what you need:
2 1/2 cups warm water
2 TBS yeast
3 TBS sugar
2 tsp salt
3 TBS olive oil
6 cups flour
* 1 egg white mixed with 1 TBS cold water
Here’s what you do:
Combine yeast and warm water (not hot – you’ll kill your yeast). Sprinkle sugar on top and let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes. You’ll notice that the yeast has gotten all bubbly. Add the oil and salt, and slowly mix with a paddle blade in your electric mixture for about 5 seconds. Add flour and let the mixer ‘knead’ the dough together (on medium high speed) for about 1 minute. Dough will pull away from the bowl and be very sticky. Place a hot wet towel over the top of the bowl and let it rise in a warm oven (not hot) for 20 ish minutes. (I usually turn my oven on until it reaches about 150 degrees, then turn it off)
Once the dough has doubled in size, turn it out on a floured surface, divide it in half, and shape into loaves. (If you need it to fit in bread bags, just divide it in four and make short loaves, like ciabatta)
Cut slits on the top of the bread and let the bread sit while your oven heats to 375*. Bake bread at 375* for 20 minutes. While it’s baking, mix up 1 egg white and 1 TBS cold water. After 20 minutes of baking, open the oven and brush the egg white on the bread while it’s still in the oven … I used a long BBQ brush because I didn’t want to take it out of the oven and have the bread fall. After you’ve brushed it with the egg mixture, bake it for another 4-5 minutes. The top will be a gorgeous golden brown.
This bread is chewy, soft, and sooooooo tasty!! Enjoy!