Monday, January 16, 2012

French Bread

From: My bread machine manual

9 1/2 oz water (1 cup + 3 Tbsp), 80 degrees
3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 tsp active dry yeast OR 1 1/2 tsp fast rise yeast
1 egg white, slightly beaten (optional)
1 tsp water (optional)
poppy or sesame seeds (optional)

Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer (usually liquid first, then dry ingredients, then butter around the sides, and yeast in a well in the middle). Cook on your bread machine's dough cycle. When it's done, pull it out and let it rest on a floured surface for 15 minutes.

Roll dough into a 15x12-inch rectangle. Roll up tightly from long side, seal and taper ends. Place seam side down on greased baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover and let rise in warm, draft-free place for 45-55 minutes or until nearly double in size. With a sharp knife, make 3 or 4 1/4-inch deep diagonal cuts on top of loaf. Combine egg white with water and brush mixture on top of loaf (or you can use melted butter). Sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds if desired.

Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly before slicing.

What I did differently from the recipe:
I used butter instead of the egg white and water mixture. I baked it for about 20 minutes, then took it out of the oven and added cheese-garlic spread on top. I also then sliced at the diagonal slices deeper than 1/4-inch and put the spread inside the bread as well. I then baked it about 5-7 more minutes to finish it.

What I'll do differently next time:
I would put more of the cheese spread in between slices of the bread. I only did a few slices like that this time because we had never tried that recipe and didn't know how it would turn out, but we loved it.

Absolutely amazing thumbs up. This was SUCH an easy recipe - time consuming, but easy enough. The crust was crispy, the inside was soft, the cheese-garlic spread added an incredible flavor... I can't say enough about this bread. We will DEFINITELY be making this again in the future!

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