Saturday, September 11, 2010

Amateur Hour: French Bread!

Setting Up: What Kind of Food Items?
1 Package of active dry yeast
1/4 cup of warm water (about 110 degrees Fahrenheit)
3 cups of all-purpose flower
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1-1 1/4 cups of ice-cold water
Setting Up: What Sort of Equipment?
1 large bowl
Measuring cups
A good spoon (wooden one recommended)
1 cookie sheet

The Steps:
When I made this, I followed the instructions it gave for mixing it by hand. So these are the instructions that I give you.

1. Add three cups of flour
2. Add 1 teaspoon each of sugar and salt
3. Add the yeast and one cup of ice water. Use your wooden spoon to mix everything together
4. Mix everything until the dough is shiny, elastic, and slightly sticky (like the photo above)

Note: Add more water as needed. You need to make sure you get every bit of flour into your mixture.
5. Cover your bowl with plastic wrap and let your dough rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours in a warm, draft-free place.

Note: As you can see in the picture, I put my dough out on my porch in the sun. It's not the warmest outside, but the sun keeps it warm enough to rise.
6. While you are waiting for your dough to rise, get busy with something else. Here's how I passed the time: I took pictures of my puppy!
7. After your dough is done rising, it should look a little something like this (see photo above)
8. Split your dough in half and shape them like the photo below.
9. Don't grease the pan just yet. You're going to need to let them rise for another 30 minutes.
10. After they're done rising, they'll look a little something like this (except your will probably be a little more equal, because you're cool like that).
11. Time to preheat your oven! Set it to 475 degrees Fahrenheit.
12. As soon as your dough is done rising, place it in the preheated oven and immediately reduce your temperature to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
13. Bake for 20-30 minutes. You'll know that it's done when it's browner than when you started. Sort of like the picture above.

Thank you for looking at this recipe! I do hope that you decide to give it a try someday.

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