Tuesday, June 9, 2009

French Bread in one day!

This recipe is not as flavorful and with the complexity of a French Bread made with a biga, BUT it is very tasty and easy to make. Ideal for those days when you realized you forgot to make the biga the day before and you only have a few hours before dinner time!


2 1/2 cups warm water
2 pkgs. quick rise yeast (4 1/2 tspn.)
6 1/2 to 7 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. melted margarine (I use butter)

1 egg + 1 Tbsp. water for egg wash before/during baking


Combine water, salt and margarine. Beat in yeast and half of the flour. Add the rest of the flour. Dough will be sticky. Let rise in an oiled, covered pan/bowl for 90 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough in half. Cover and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly grease a baking sheet. Sprinkle with cornmeal.

Roll each portion of the dough into a 15x10-inch rectangle. Roll up, jelly-roll style, starting from a long side; seal well. Pinch ends and pull slightly to taper. Place seam side down on prepared baking sheet. In a small mixing bowl stir together the egg and water. Brush some of it over loaves.

Cover and let rise till nearly double in size (35 to 45 minutes). Using a sharp knife, make 3 or 4 diagonal cuts about 1/4 inch deep across the top of each loaf.

Bake in 375ºF oven for 20 minutes. Brush again with the rest of the egg mixture. Continue baking for 15 to 20 minutes more or till bread sounds hollow h=when you tap the top with your fingers. Immediately remove bread from baking sheet. Cool on wire racks. Makes 2 loaves.

Source: Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook and Cooking with Smitty's Mom

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