Monday, October 2, 2017

Recipe: French bread

For some time, I've been baking bread at home to add to our meals, but after our trip to France in April and all the delicious baguettes we had, I became quite let-down by the quality of my bread. I recently found a recipe that I've started making that is significantly better than what I had done:


  • 1/4 tsp yeast
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1.75 tsp salt
  • 18 oz (500 g) flour (about 4 cups)


  • Mix dough, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise 12-14 hours or until doubled
  • Shape loaves by rolling onto lightly floured surface. Put on baking sheet and let rise, covered with floured plastic, for 1-1.5 hours or until almost doubled
  • Cut angled slices in the top of the dough, tucking sharp corners in
  • Preheat oven to 550°F with a pan of water on the bottom rack of oven to keep humid
  • Bake about 15 minutes or until well-browned, spraying with water before baking and at 5-minute intervals
  • Let cool before eating

A few useful notes:

The water need not be lukewarm. I use cool water straight from the faucet. Mix everything together at once. The initial prep takes five minutes, tops.

I started off with a 12-hour rise time and another hour after forming the loaves, though I've also had success with about three and one, and I will probably continue to experiment to see how quickly I can make this recipe happen.

The dough should be quite sticky at basically every stage. Lightly flour the counter when forming loaves, the pan when you move them over, and your hands whenever necessary, but don't use too much.

Because you spray, bake for five minutes, and repeat (especially if you're doing a double batch like I do), there's a lot of time sitting around babysitting the loaves:

But it's worth it. After baking, let the loaves cool completely and enjoy: