French Bread

A morish, light and airy loaf, which can be ready in just over two hours. Perfect for lazy Sundays and those occasions when you’ve run out of fresh bread and your delivery isn’t due until tomorrow. Bread, is, and always will be, a necessity of life.

MAKES TWO BAGUETTES

VEGETARIAN - VEGAN

Here's how you do it

1.       Ok, if you have a bread machine, use it. If not, move along to Step 2. Pop all the ingredients, except the egg into the machine and stick it on your dough setting. Easy peasy. See you at Step 5.

2.       Mix your water, flour, sugar, salt and dried yeast until it forms a dough.

3.       Sprinkle your kitchen surface with flour and get to kneading. I’m sorry, but if you want a light and airy end result, you will need to knead for around 10 minutes (8 minutes in a mixer) as the air you put in now will work its magic later. Use this time to work through any underlying emotional issues. Pummel that dough. Do it.

4.       Now that you are feeling more relaxed, leave your dough in a deep bowl and cover with a tea towel for an hour. Flour the tea towel if you think the dough might rise up enough to meet it.

5.       Welcome back bread machine owners. Now, split your dough into two and with a handful of flour, mould each into a long length, imitating the classic French baton and place them on a baking tray, leaving enough room for them to expand further.

6.       Dust the tops with flour and using a sharp knife (I always find a serrated knife works well), cut horizontal lines across the top.

7.       Leave to rise for another hour in a warm spot.

8.       After an hour, they should be looking rather plump. You have options now. You can (very gently) brush on egg white for a natural looking glaze (not in the cuts you’ve made though). Or you can use egg yolk for a golden colour once baked. However, I always forget that I have an odd egg yolk/white left in the fridge, so I just tend to mix a whole egg and brush it on for that lovely golden crust. Alternatively, brush with olive oil for a vegan option.

9.       Bake at 230 degrees for 15 minutes until golden brown.

10.   Leave to cool on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes, then dig in with a butter knife nearby.

If you’re going to be pedantic, apparently, you can only make French bread from French flour and French water. If you don’t have any Vittel in the cupboard, tap water is fine. Although, whilst we’re on this subject, filtered tap water is better as the chlorine can inhibit the performance of the yeast. 

We love our bread here at My Farm Shop, and we’ve taken a great deal of time sourcing you the tastiest, freshest loaves, local to you. However, we understand that there are few things in life that beat the heady scent of freshly baked bread from the oven, so if that’s your thing, this recipe is for you.

Ingredients

  • 225ml lukewarm water
  • 350g French bread flour (or strong white bread flour)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp of dried yeast
  • One egg to glaze

What’s in this recipe