Sometimes you just need to do things that make you happy. For me that is baking or gardening! I feel like for a few months I had been saying “oh I want to try and make bread myself” but then work would get in the way. Then I took it upon myself to make time to do this on Sunday because honestly I have been feeling super anxious lately!
I have so many memories of when my brother and I were little making dough for fun in the kitchen to play with. Since this is my first time making bread I knew I didn’t want to do anything that might be more advanced. So if you yourself are a beginner bread maker hopefully you will give this French bread a try! I was so nervous that I was going to burn it! I’ve watched so much The Great British Baking Show that as soon as I was done making it I checked the things Paul Hollywood checks for in the show. Do I have a crispy bottom and all around just? Check! Is there a nice golden color? Check! Is there a nice bounce back spring in the dough itself? CHECK! As you can imagine I am over the moon it came out this good!
2.25 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1.25 cup warm water
1.5 tsp kosher salt
2.5 cups of all purpose flour ( + more for dusting )
Add active dry yeast, sugar and warm water to mixing bowl or bowl of stand mixer
Let yeast proof for 5 minutes. It will look a bit foamy when done
In stand mixing bowl add in salt and flour a bit at a time while mixing on low speed ( I use my dough hook )
Once dough has formed turn off mixer and remove dough hook
Lightly flour all sides and top of dough *DO NOT MIX IN ! It’s just so the dough doesn’t stick *
Cover with tea or small bowl and leave on counter for 1 hour ( dough will double in size )
Lightly flour a cutting board
Remove towel and tip over dough onto floured cutting board making sure to not punch dough leaving lots of air in dough ( if hand stick to dough wet hands a bit )
Sprinkle top of dough with a bit of flour
Grab one edge of bread and bring it to the middle do this all the way around the bread ( sort of like folding an envelope )
Flip dough over seam side DOWN
Flour a mixing bowl or bread bowl and place loaf inside seam side DOWN
Cover with towel and let proof for 30 minutes
Place any size dutch oven (not mini) in oven and preheat at 460 degree F
Using your mitts remove the Dutch oven when hot and remove lid
Take a sheet of parchment paper and lay flat
Carefully transfer the dough seam sight UP on to the paper
Grab all corners of paper and place into the hot dutch oven
Place lid on top
Place dutch oven in oven and bake for 30 minutes
Remove lid and bake for another 10 minutes (till color has deepened)
Using mitt remove bread from dutch oven with paper and let cool for 20 minutes
It might look like a lot of directions but honestly it’s all little things and once it’s done you are going to be like ya! I can do that again! If you are wondering now that it’s done and I’ve taken a million pictures of it what to do I do with the post worthy French bread? Well, here’s is what Chris and I did. We poured some red wine in glasses got a few of favorite meats (Prosciutto & Salami), goat cheese and a bit of balsamic EVOO. Then had ourselves a nice lunch outside!
If you decide to make this French bread tag me in your Instagram stories @monicsutter I want to see all of you who tried this out!