Thursday, August 4, 2011

Almost French Bread

Today I set out to make a bread for bruschetta since I didn't have any in the house. I was hoping for something between a loaf of french bread and a baguette. I ended up with an "almost french bread," since it wasn't exactly like a typical french bread but it was very close. It actually turned out perfectly for bruschetta and I think it would be great for sandwiches. This was my first attempt at coming up with my own recipe for bread so maybe that is why I like it so much. ;)

Almost French Bread
Serving: 2 loaves

1 ¼ cup warm water (105-110°)
1 packet active yeast
2 3/4 cups bread flour
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt

Add a pinch of sugar to ½ cup warm water. Add the yeast and let sit for 10 minutes or until bloomed. 

In a large electric mixing bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, and salt together. Add the yeast mixture and extra 3/4 cup warm water. Mix together with the paddle attachment just until incorporated. Add the dough hook to the mixer and knead until a smooth ball forms, about 7 minutes. Add more flour, by the tablespoon, if the dough is too sticky and does not pull away  from the sides of the mixing bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough by hand until a smooth ball forms. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm area free of drafts, such as an oven. Let rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size. 

Punch the dough down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough in half and gently press each half into a rectangle. Fold each half onto itself, creating a long, french-style loaf and seal the seams. Place the loaves on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Gently cover the loaves with plastic wrap coated with cooking spray. Let rise for 1 to 1/2 hours. 

Place an oven rack in the lower middle position and preheat the oven to 425°. Uncover the loaves and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden-brown on top and the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees. 

Allow the loaves to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Source: A Much Kneaded original

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