Saturday, January 3, 2009

French Bread

This recipe is inspired from a great bread book that I do not own anymore. The measurements are crucial and must be weighed. Here's hoping that you all have food scales and instant read thermometers...
  • 250 grams all-purpose flour
  • 250 grams bread flour
  • 10 grams sea salt or 3 tsp
  • 1 tsp instant yeast (for bread machines)
  • 315 grams bottled water
  1. Place flours in food processor and pulse several times to incorporate. Take temp of flour. Then either cool or heat water so that flour and water temps combined equal 130 degrees F.
  2. Turn processor on and pour water through tube while machine is running for 20 seconds.
  3. Let dough rest in machine for 30 minutes then process 25 seconds.
  4. Dough temp should be 75-80 degrees. If it is not warm enough, pulse processor a few times and check temp again. Do this until it reaches proper temp.
  5. Turn dough out into ungreased bowl and let rise covered with plastic for 2 hours.
  6. Lightly flour board. Turn out dough on to board and cut into 2 pieces.
  7. Cover with plastic or towel and let rest 20 minutes
  8. Form loaves and place in baking pans.
  9. Cover and let rest until desired height (approx 60-90 min).
  10. In meantime, preheat oven to 475 degrees F.
  11. Place bowl of water in bottom of oven to create steam.
  12. Dust loaves with flour and slash tops on angle with very sharp knife or razor blade.
  13. Spritz water on loaves until they glisten. Don't overdo it.
  14. Bake loaves for 20 minutes. Internal temp should be 205 degrees F.
  15. Cool on rack.

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