Now that the world stuck inside during this pandemic and everyone has been sending us messages about how bored they are not jumping, I thought it would be a great idea to share a recipe for my bread. Not only is it hella good but it takes up a good portion of your day to make, hence taking up time that you would be sitting around doing nothing.
So, get on your apron and get ready to have some fun. If you do attempt to make this french bread please share some photos with us. Have fun!
If you have any questions, comments and or concerns please feel free to reach out and I will be sure to answer as soon as I can..
What do you need
1 tablespoon of active or dry yeast (unlike me this is this is the big spoon)
2 tablespoons of sugar - pour that shit on me
1 tablespoon of kosher salt
2 tablespoons of olive oil
4 cups of bread flour * if you do not have bread flour all purpose will work
You will also need some corn meal but the portion is not important
3 cups of water - give or take ( depending on your altitude and relative humidity
1 stick of butter (this is for the end do not add to the mix)
2 baking trays
If you have dry yeast you will need to activate it. This is super simple but critical in making the bread. If you mess this up you will just make flat bread and we don't want no stinking flat bread.
Take 2 1/2 cups of warm water (warm like as in warm as in kinda hot) and place it in a bowl. Then I would like you to add in the 2 tablespoons of sugar and stir it until it dissolves. ( a few whips with a fork should do. Once you have completed this open your yeast packed and add to the mix.
WALK AWAY!!! Give it 10 min to start to bubble. Once it has activated move on to part two.
*if you have active yeast, mash it with a fork prior to adding water and sugar. I would still recommend stirring it with a fork for a few seconds in order to make the mixture.
Active Yeast, No need to wait !
Putting stuff in the mixer.
If you're lucky you have a mixer, if not you have some work ahead of you but it's not that bad.
Read as you go !!
1. Add the oil and salt into the bottom of the mixing bowl.
2. Now add 3 cups of flower to the bowl
Good you didn't mess it up yet
3. Now slowly add in the 2 1/2 cups of water yeast and sugar and start to mix
* the dough should be sticky at this point and that is fine
Still a bit sloppy
4. Add the 4th cup of flour slowly
5. Mix more water if needed * depending on the humidity you may or may not need this however I found I generally do.
The dough should be pulling away from the sides of the bowl; it should not be a sloppy mess.
6. Turn off mixer and now use your hands to knead for a moment. This will let you know how wet your mixture is. YOU do not WANT it to be sloppy wet, if it is just add a bit more flour to it until you can pick it up.
Wash Your hands first I mean come on
7. Lightly oil a bowl ( I use olive oil and a paper towel) once you have greased the bowl, place your dough inside and cover with a kitchen towel.
Made you Look
Ok, you did it! The first part of your journey is complete. Now all you have to do is set the timer for 60 minutes. Buy why? Well we need to allow the yeast to do its thing. Over the next 60 min your dough is going to double in size and start to do science stuff.
DING. It's been 1 hour and you didn't peak and or touch the dough.
That 5th position though
8. Transfer gently from the greased bowl to an oiled cutting board.
9. Cut into 4 equal portions
10. Roll the bread to form dough logs in your hands (3 inches wide and up to 8 inches long) and place on a well greased or oiled baking sheet.
11. Sprinkle cornmeal on the tops of the dough logs
12. ** Take plastic wrap and cover the logs one by one ( Make sure to keep them apart, as they will grow and you do not want them to touch- you will be forming the log while you do this - think about what you want your bread to look like and try to form it.
13. Cover the 4 logs with a kitchen towel and set your timer for 60 min. I also like to set a timer on my phone for 45 min- I do this so I know when to preheat my oven.
DING. it's been 1 hour and you already pre heated the oven to 375 as well as placed the rack in the middle of the oven.
I just want to let you know that you are doing a great job. I know you got this..
Take a second baking sheet and cover with a piece of parchment paper and lightly sprinkle cornmeal where you will place the bread (if you don't have parchment paper yikes.. You can try to put down corn meal instead but I make no promises as to what will happen to the bottom of your bread. Plus you worked your ass off to get here so make sure you have the paper.
* you should also cut the tops of the bread I generally do 3 or 4. It gives the finished bread a classic look and also helps to hold the butter you are going to slather over the loaf in 20 min.
Place ONE bread on the baking sheet and place in the oven. Set a timer for 20 min.
Before you close the door spray water into the over. If you do not have a sprayer use ice cubes.
This will create steam and do more science stuff. (it helps with the crust is all but it is critical to getting it right)
Once the timer goes off take the bread out of the oven and lather it with melted butter.. Now place back in the over for 12 more min. Spray more water before you close the oven door!!
Once complete take the loaf from the baking sheet and place on a rack to cool. I normally leave it for 5 min or so before I cut in and taste a slice.
You will need to repeat this for all four loaves of bread. DO NOT TRY TO COOK MORE THEN ONE AT A TIME UNLESS YOU HAVE A CONVECTION OVEN. EVEN THEN I WOULD NOT DO MORE THEN 2 AT A TIME AND I WOULD ADD 4 MIN TO THE END.
If this isn't good you messed up. Not sure how you messed up but you did. And if you did I would like you to go sit in the corner like baby (that's right I put baby in the corner) and think about your life.
But most likely you baked some epic french bread and are all nom nom nom
Food for thought. The bread will go stale in a few days. Why not slice the bread then sprinkle with olive oil and garlic and toast them. You can keep them in a zip-lock bag and have snacks for weeks.
Looking for a dip mhmm? Like clams? Well stay tuned for my clam sauce recipe, yeah its boss and mindless….
Hope you had fun and make sure to send me pics of your messy kitchen and the finished product
If you are really having issues making the bread DM me and i'll walk you through it
Smile, Life is amazing