I just made THE BEST French bread ever! I want to even say it’s better than your store-bought French bread, but maybe I’m just saying that b/c I made it. Although, my husband agreed with me, he thought it was awesome too.
There’s not a long story behind this one, I had a mostaccioli casserole in my freezer that I pulled out for dinner and I thought some homemade French bread would be a nice addition. I didn’t feel like lugging out my bread maker (not that it’s a big deal since in the end it does ALL the work for you), so I decided the next best thing would be the Kitchen Aid mixer. I pulled out the recipe book that came with mine and sure enough, there was a French bread recipe. It was more involved than putting all the ingredients in the pan and pressing a button, but after eating it, it was MORE than worth it. Time consuming? A bit. Overall it took 3-3 ½ hours. Two of those hours were rising times. Thirty minutes was cooking time. So 30 minutes to 45 minutes of hands on time, depending on your speed. The recipe makes two loafs, but I am halving it here b/c that’s what I did. I should have made two to see if it would freeze well…there’s always next week :)
TRY this recipe if you want to make a real store-like French bread to either spread with butter or dip in oil for a nice side to an Italian dish. Let me know how it goes!
1 pkg active dry yeast
1 1/4 cup warm water
1/2 T salt
1/2 T margarine, melted
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 T cornmeal
1 egg white
1 T cold water
Dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed mixer bowl. Add salt, butter, and flour. Attach bowl and dough hook to mixer. Turn to Speed 2 and mix until well blended, about 1 minute. Knead on Speed 2 about 2 more minutes longer. Dough will be sticky.
Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover. Let rise in warm place, free from draft, about 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk.
Punch dough down. Roll in 12×15 inch rectangle. Roll dough tightly, from longest side pinching dough to seal seem. Pinch ends and turn under. (I think the tight rolling and pinching made the bread!) Place loaves on greased baking sheets that have been dusted with cornmeal. Cover. Let rise in warm place, free from draft, about 1 hour or until doubled in bulk. (I put my loaf on a silipat mat and then transferred the entire mat to the hot baking stone when it was ready to bake.)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
With bread knife, make 4 diagonal cuts on top of each loaf. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven. Beat egg white and water together with a fork. Brush loaf with egg mixture. Return to oven and bake 5 minutes longer. Remove from baking sheet immediately and cool on wire racks.
Recipe from Instructions and Recipes for your Kitchenaid Stand Mixer