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Fresh French Bread

Thetinytwentysomethingblog
This simple bread recipe has become a staple in our kitchen.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Rising Time (1 hour per rise) 2 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American

Equipment

  • Cooking thermometer
  • Mixer
  • Large bowl
  • Baking pan
  • 1-2 kitchen towels
  • Kitchen utensils
  • Little bowl

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/4 cup of water temperature needs to be 100-110 degrees, I put 1 1/2 cup of water into a liquid measuring cup, microwave for 30 seconds and then temp it. Fun Fact: Microwaves use water molecules to heat whatever is in there, and it usually takes 1/4 cup from the measuring cup)
  • 1 TBS of sugar
  • 1/2 TBS instant or active dry yeast yeast loves sugar!
  • 3/8 Tsp salt
  • 1 TBS of vegetable oil for the bread
  • A small bowl of oil set aside for oiling the bowl and pan
  • 3-5 cups of flour divided put 3 cups in 1 bowl and 1-2 cups in a second bowl
  • 1-2 TBS of butter melted

Instructions
 

  • In the mixer bowl, add the yeast and sugar and warmed water. Lightly whisk it to break up the clumps. Let this mixture sit until it is bubbly (3-5 minutes) unless you are using instant yeast.
  • Add the salt, oil and 1/2 the amount of flour.
  • Turn on the mixer and slowly let the dough hook work its way through the dough. Then slowly start adding the rest of the flour 1/2 cup at a time. The dough needs to clear the sides of the bowl and start turning into an elastic but sturdy ball. If there are still chunks of flour clinging to the side, very slowly add bits of flour in 1/4 cup increments.
  • Turn your mixer up to Medium or High. This is the kneading step. Do this for 2-3 minutes/until the dough does not cling to your hands.
  • Stop your mixer, lift the hook and squish the ball, let sit for about 10 seconds. If you need to shape or reshape your mass, go ahead and do so. I need to do that every now and then. I sometimes need to turn the mixer back on for about 1 minute. (This is the "trial and error"/"getting to understand break making" step that will just take you time to figure out.)
  • Take a paper towel and dip it into small bowl with oil. Rub it throughout the insides of your large bowl, and place your ball of dough inside the bowl. Cover it with a kitchen towel and let sit for 1 HOUR or until your ball has doubled in size- this depends on how warm your kitchen is, I just set the timer for 1 HOUR. Also, using a towel to cover the dough keeps it from drying out. After the 1 HOUR wait, you kinda find out if your dough is going to rise or if you aren't making bread with this mixture!
  • After the 1 HOUR wait, take the dough out of the bowl and work it into a loaf, 2 bowls or dinner rolls... Place the dough into the pan and cover with a towel. Let sit for 1 HOUR or until doubled in size.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  • After the 2nd 1 HOUR wait, you can either rework the dough into shape and let sit for more time or bake it right away for 25-30 minutes- when it gets a lovely golden brown. (Optional: you can use a knife to score the dough prior to baking). Slather the butter on the bread when it gets out and let it rest for a few minutes.

Notes

Notes: (1)After much Pinterest research/reading, I discovered that every bread making day will be different. My reading says that the amount of flour depends on your altitude and the warmth of your kitchen. I like to sometimes warm up my kitchen by doing the dishes beforehand because the hot water seems to bring a little heat into our kitchen....(2) Use a kitchen towel to cover the mixer while you're adding the flour, it keeps the flour dusting to a minimum.
Keyword bread, bread recipe, budget friendly dinners, chewy and delicious, French bread