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Crusty French Bread Recipe

  • Author: Chew Out Loud
  • Prep Time: 70 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Yield: 18 1x
  • Category: bread
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: French American

Description

This Crusty French Bread is perfect for any meal. It’s an easy, fail-proof recipe that allows for quick rise times, and results in a wonderfully crispy exterior and chewy interior. Great for dunking in soup or slathering butter onto.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 (.25 oz) packages active dry yeast (be sure it’s fresh!)
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • 1 TB white sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups water at 110F
  • 1 TB cornmeal
  • 1 egg white, beaten with 1 TB water

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Hand-whisk until well combined. Gradually stir in the warm water (test the temperature with thermometer to ensure it’s right around 110F) and stir until a dough forms. The consistency should be roughly like play-dough, not too sticky but easily forms into a smooth/elastic dough ball. Add 1 TB water at a time as needed to gain that consistency.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough 10 minutes. Shape into a ball, place into a well-oiled bowl, and turn dough to lightly coat in oil. Cover bowl tightly with cling wrap and place bowl in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in volume, 30-60 minutes.
  3. Gently punch dough down and divide in half. Place on lightly floured surface, cover, and let sit 10 minutes. Roll each half into approx. 14×9 inch rectangle. Roll rectangle up lengthwise, moisten edges with water, and pinch tightly to seal. Taper and seal ends.
  4. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Sprinkle evenly with cornmeal. Place loaves seam side down on sheet. Cut diagonal slits into loves on top, about 1/4 inch deep. Brush loaves with egg/water mixture. Gently lay cling wrap over loaves and place in a draft-free warm place until nearly doubled in size, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375F with rack on lower middle position. Place a large pan of water on lowest rack.
  5. Bake 15 minutes. Brush again with egg/water mixture. Bake another 10 minutes or until bread looks done. Serve warm.

Keywords: French Bread, Homemade Bread, Loaf Bread