Worth it or Not – Homemade French Bread

I am a very big fan of fresh made breads. My favorites are Sourdough, Italian and French bread. How can you resist a bite of something so deliciously soft, crunchy and decadently simple all in one bite? My local grocery store’s breads aren’t very good. They’re too crunchy, turn rock solid overnight and after three days they start to mold. It’s depressing. I can only get fresh loafs every so often. When I do, I want to be able to savor every bite not feel cheated.

Last Christmas, I was very blessed to get a Kitchenaid mixer from my amazing husband. It’s one of the most beautiful appliances I’ll ever own. One of my favorite attachments is the dough hook. It’s supposed to take the stress and frustration out of kneading dough, which is certainly something I’m interested in. Now, I’ve had this mixer for a year and have put it to very good use. I just haven’t made any breads yet. Don’t laugh at me. Making your own bread can be a little intimidating. It’s supposed to be really hard or everyone would do it. Right?

I decided to start with something simple: French Bread. I found a recipe on Food.com specifically for Kitchenaid mixers. Yes, I know the rest of the nation prefers to use a bread maker. I wanted to know if it really make a difference to use my mixer instead of the machine. The only extra ingredient I needed was dry active yeast. You only need one packet to make a loaf of bread. If you purchase three packets, you pay approximately one dollar. All of the other ingredients I already had at home.

You do the math. Spend less than $.50 to make it yourself or spend $4.00 for store bought bread. I’ll save my $3.50 and put to good use. Thank you very much!

The recipe was very simple. Yes, it does take a lot of time, but most of that involves you letting the dough sit on the counter. With this recipe you combine your ingredients, turn on the mixer for a few minutes and let it sit for an hour. Form your loaf which takes a few moments, and let it sit  for another hour. Bake and eat. You can very easily mulitask while you’re making this recipe. I highly recommend serving it with the clam chowder I talked about in my Campbell’s soup post.

The bread was ridiculously simple and tasted delicious. It hasn’t turned hard overnight and still hasn’t molded after four days. My husband loves it, which means we officially have the perfect solution to our fresh bread problem!

 

 

“Old Reliable” French Bread (for Kitchen Aid Mixers)

By Lizzie-Babette on January 27, 2003

Ingredients 
    • 2 packages active dry yeast
    • 2 1/2 cups water ( 105F to 115 F)
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon melted margarine or 1 tablespoon butter
    • 7 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 tablespoons cornmeal
    • 1 egg whites
    • 1 tablespoon cold water

Directions

  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed mixer bowl.
  2. Add salt, butter, and flour.
  3. Attach bowl& dough hook to mixer, turn to Speed 2 and mix about 1 minute or until well blended.
  4. Knead on Speed 2 about 2 minutes longer.
  5. Dough will be sticky.
  6. Put dough in large greased bowl, turning to coat.
  7. Cover and let rise in warm place, free from draft, about 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk.
  8. Punch dough down and divide in half.
  9. Roll each half into 12″ x 15″ rectangle.
  10. Roll dough tightly, from longest side, tapering ends, if needed/wanted.
  11. Put loaves on greased baking sheets that have been dusted with cornmeal.
  12. Cover and let rise in warm place, free from draft, about 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk.
  13. With sharp knife, make 4 diagonal cuts on top of each loaf.
  14. Bake at 450F for 25 minutes, then remove from oven.
  15. Beat egg white and water together and brush each loaf with this mix.
  16. Return to the oven and bake 5 minutes longer.
  17. Immediately remove from baking sheets and cool on wire racks.
  18. Serve with your favorite spread such as herbed butter, garlic bread topping, etc.
Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Worth it or Not – Homemade French Bread

  1. Yes, homemade fresh-baked bread is the best!

    My girlfriend’s gotten really into baking and has moved on from making one-day baguettes to making baguettes and ciabatta where you ferment half the dough first (basically just refrigerate it in a bowl overnight). It smells amazing while it’s baking and like yours, it doesn’t get hard and it last quite a few days… usually we leave it out for three days, then refrigerate it, and we have fresh bread for a whole week!

    (If you’re interested, she’s written guest blog posts on my site with her baguette & ciabatta recipes.)

    • I will definitely have to check out the baguette and ciabatta recipes! I have fallen in love with the smell of homemade bread. I think it’s an addiction I’m more than happy to give into. I wonder if it’s better to make your own wheat/white bread or buy it. More articles brewing, I can see it now!

  2. Pingback: Easy Panera Bread Soups | Creative Campbell

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s