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Easy French Bread | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen

Easy French Bread

This is one of the tastiest and easiest French bread recipes you will ever find. This is great to serve as a side for soups or salads.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 46 mins
Course Breads, Rolls and Muffins
Cuisine French
Servings 12

Ingredients
  

  • 2 1/2-2 3/4 cups Gold Medal bread flour NOT all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 pkg. Fleishmann’s active dry yeast or 2 ¼ tsp. (preferred over other brands)
  • 1 cup hot water 120°
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • unsalted butter melted, or olive oil

Instructions
 

  • Combine 2 cups flour with salt, sugar, and yeast.
  • Add water and beat 3 minutes with a dough hook or 1 minutes by hand.
  • Beat in enough flour to make a soft but kneadable dough.
  • Knead 3-5 minutes.
  • Place in a greased bowl.
  • Grease top of dough.
  • Cover with a tea towel, let rise 45 minutes.
  • Punch dough down and roll into a rectangle, or three smaller log shapes to braid.
  • Roll up or braid dough from long end.
  • Place on GREASED cookie sheet.
  • Whisk together 1 egg white and 1 tbsp. water.
  • Brush on top of loaf.
  • Let rise 30-45 minutes.
  • About 5 minutes before rising time ends, place bread in oven and preheat oven to 400°.
  • Bake 15-20 minutes.
  • Brush top crust with melted butter or oil after removing from oven.

Notes

NOTE: All-purpose flour is not recommended for this recipe.
NOTE: Preparation time does not include time required to raise the dough twice.
MEGYN'S NOTE: The rise time is never as long as the recipe says, especially the second time. I let it rise (2nd time) about as long as it takes to preheat my oven. I use my Kitchen Aid to knead, with the dough hook on the lowest speed. In order to get the dough to rise, I preheat the oven to 350° for exactly one minute, then turn it off. Then I put the bowl, covered with a tea towel that I have gotten wet with hot water, in the oven and I leave the oven light on. My oven gets all steamy and it rises in no time. If I let the egg white mixture drip down on the cookie sheet, it makes the loaf stick really badly no matter how well I greased it. Sometimes I roll it, sometimes I braid it, and I don’t really ever roll it out first like it says. I just stretch and shape it with my hands.
MY NOTE: I had a LOT of egg white drip down onto the pan and didn't have any problem at all with the bread sticking. It could be the surface of the pans that make the difference. I used a heavy duty restaurant supply type 1/4 baking sheet pan.
NOTE: These directions are for using your mixer to knead the dough. I hand knead the dough working in flour until the dough is no longer sticky—no matter how long that takes. I also only beat the mixture until it is well combined. It usually does not take 3 minutes.
NOTE: I have tried other yeasts and they always seemed to die when I tried to spread the egg wash over the bread. Fleishmann's is the only yeast that doesn't do this.
© Can’t Stay Out of the Kitchen
Keyword bread
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