Homemade French Bread

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I think I am about to break my arm patting myself on the back.  I found this recipe Easy Homemade French Bread and since it had the word EASY in the title, and since my rolls turned out so well (they said easy too), I thought, why not try making bread?

Why am I about to break my arm?  I am so pleased with the results and flavor.   Who KNEW making fresh bread could be so easy. Allowing time for the dough to rise and double was the most time-consuming.  So, I fixed that problem by mixing and kneading and then leaving the house and ran a few errands.

By the time  I got home the dough had doubled in size…YEAH!   It worked!  So I rolled the dough out,  like the instructions said and let it rise and double again.  It took about 45 minutes before I felt like it had raised enough.  I egg-washed it to make it shiny and put the angled cuts into each loaf.  It even LOOKED professional.  LOL… there I go breaking my arm again.  It baked between 20-25 minutes.  Those loaves were a beautiful golden brown but,  you can see that in the pictures.  The hardest thing to do was WAIT till it cooled to see if it tasted as good as it smelled.  I gotta tell you it was worth the wait, still on the warm side with melting butter….. Yummmmieee!  Even though one loaf appears misshapen it didn’t affect the flavor of the bread one eentsey bit.  😉

I had  bought a store loaf, in case the bread bombed, and I taste  compared  the two and I have to say there was no comparison. Homemade wins hands down. Not that that really was a surprise.  To me the store-bought had a bit of a “soapy” flavor, and was told that perhaps that was because of the  preservatives.

Notes:  I did not purchase sucanat so I used sugar.  At my mom’s, I do not have a baking stone so I used a jelly roll pan (or it could be just a cookie sheet with a lip, I don’t know) lined with parchment paper.  I didn’t use a full three cups of flour either  and I had a friend who used the whole amount of flour and her dough was still sticky.  I don’t know what to tell you about that. The dough should not be overly sticky so you will just have to experiment with it yourself.

Happy baking and here’s to an abundant 2014.

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