Freshly baked French bread is divine. All you need is some butter, perhaps cheese, and you have a meal ready. It's a lot of carb, but golly, it's tasty carb. Sometimes, it's worth it, especially when it's so easy to make! :)
500g all-purpose flour
350g water, warm (about 100F), this is 70% hydration - feel free to experiment with this %
9g instant yeast
olive oil, as needed
- Stir the yeast into the water.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour and water mixture until a dough forms.
- Let the dough rest until it has doubled in size.
- In an electric mixer with a dough hook attachment, knead the dough with the salt for 10-20 minutes. If your mixer overheats like mine does (KitchenAid mixer), cool the gears with ice, so you can keep kneading. This helps the dough form the necessary gluten.
- Once kneaded, transfer to an oiled bowl. Cover and let the dough rest until it has doubled in size. If you plan to bake the same day, preheat your oven to 500F or as high as your oven will go. Place a large, deep pan at the bottom, below the level you will bake. This will be used to provide steam when baking.
- Without degassing the dough too much, form the dough into baguettes or whatever shape you desire. Allow your bread to proof once more (not quite double in size, but close).
- When you are ready to bake, place your loaves into the middle rack. Pour 1/4 cup of hot water into the deep pan you preheated earlier; you should immediately see steam rise. Repeat the steam making 3 more times at 30 second intervals.
- Lower the oven temperature to 450F and bake until golden brown. This can take anywhere from 20-35 minutes depending on the size of your loaves.
- Remove from the oven and enjoy! :)