French bread is considered rather tricky to make since it is leaner in nature (contains zero fat). But, anyone can easily make light and crusty French baguettes by simply following the detailed illustrative guide mentioned herewith.
French Bread Recipe
Traditionally, French baguette doesn’t have any additive or oil added during the preparation. We have used the finest of ingredients such as unbleached all purpose flour, distilled water, freshest of yeast and sea or kosher salt for getting great quality french bread.
Preparation Time: 5 hours, 30 minutes
Baking Time: 20-25 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours
All purpose unbleached /high-protein flour (420 grams)
Tepid distilled water (480 milliliters)
Kosher salt (half teaspoon)
French instant yeast (one tablespoon)
The flour and kosher salt are combined in a medium-sized bowl. We proceed with making the preferment wherein one takes a part of the water and bread flour and ferments it for a lengthier span of time as compared to the rest of the dough for evoking greater flavour from the used constituents. This is accomplished by taking half the amount of active dry yeast, flour and distilled water in a large bowl.
Mix with a wooden spoon till you get a smooth, doughy mixture. The vessel is covered with a cloth, cling film or lid and set aside at room temperature for around three hours till it has increased to twice its earlier size. We finish preparing the dough by mixing the rest of the yeast in the remaining tepid water and set it aside for some time so that it softens. Add this along with half of the flour into the preferment and mix with the spoon for thoroughly combining all the ingredients. One can add miniscule amounts of flour to the dough if it gets too soggy or add some water if it’s dry.
The dough is then transferred to a working area that has been dusted with some flour and then kneaded for around ten minutes. Place in the bowl and cover. Allow slow rising till it is twice its initial volume for around an hour. The oven is then preheated to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Next the dough is kneaded for around five minutes prior to cutting it into trio equal portions with a knife and let them rest for ten minutes. Take every piece and begin flattening it.
Then keep folding and pushing it till you get a roll and pinch. Keep doing this till you get a longish baguette and set aside for rising (thirty minutes or so) in a warm place. With a sharp serrated knife make oblique slashes on the breads though avoid going deeper than quarter of an inch. Lightly spray some water all over the breads and place on an upturned baking tray that has been covered with a parchment sheet which has been dusted with some flour or a preheated baking stone.
A medium-sized glass bowl is filled with searing water and placed in the lower rack of the oven while the shaped dough is placed in the upper rack. The water bowl is taken out after fifteen minutes. The breads are further baked till they have developed a golden brown colour which takes around 15-20 minutes. The breads are then placed upturned on the rack for a further five minutes. Enjoy the French bread while warm.
Photo Credit: Preparednessadvice.com/recipes/french-bread