French Bread

Maybe I enjoy making things more difficult, or it may just be the fact that I love making as much from scratch as possible. I enjoy learning new techniques as well as avoiding buying more over-priced foods from Publix, (the money saving makes it even more rewarding for me). I needed to make these for meatball sandwiches, so hopefully they’ll hold up well to the sauce, cheese and of course – the meatballs. This dough was hard to work with because it was so sticky.
Verdict: These were really good with a nice tight crumb so they held up well to the meatball subs we used these for. They have a nice chewy crust too – overall a great choice for future sandwiches. Before adding the meatballs, I hollowed out the bread to make room for easier handling and eating. All the bread guts went into a freezer bag to be used for bread crumbs – waste not, want not! Thanks for reading, enjoy!
French Bread – adapted from The Sisters’ Cafe
  • 2 ¼ c. warm water
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp yeast
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 5 ½ -6 cups flour-stirred before measured

First dissolve sugar and yeast in the warm water. Let this proof—or sit for a few minutes until it bubbles. Then add salt, oil and 3 cups of flour and beat well (At this point I switch to my dough/kneading attachment on my mixer) Add in 2 1/2 -3 more cups of flour. The dough should clean off the sides of the bowl and not be too sticky. Knead for a few minutes. Leave the dough in the mixer to rest for 10 minutes and then stir it down (turn on your mixer for 10 seconds) and then allow to rest another 10 minutes. Repeat for a total of 5 times. Then turn dough onto a floured surface and knead it 2 or 3 times to coat with flour. Divide into 2 equal parts. Roll each part into a 9×13 rectangle. Roll dough up, starting from long edge of loaf to seal. Arrange seam side down on large baking sheet that’s been sprinkled with corn meal, allowing room for both loaves. Repeat with second part of dough. With a sharp knife, cut 3 gashes at an angle on the top of each. Cover lightly; allow to rise 30 minutes. Brush entire surface with egg wash (one egg beaten slightly with 1 Tbsp of water). If desired, sprinkle with sesame seads. Bake for 30 minutes at 375. Cool on racks