Some of the best recipes are the ones that are quick and easy and don’t require lots of special ingredients. So recently when I came across a blog that contained a recipe for French bread that looked pretty easy I thought I might give it a try.
In the past I haven’t really been a fan of homemade bread, because it has always tasted a bit yeasty when I have tried it. I was inspired to try this recipe though because I already had everything on the ingredients list and the method seemed fairly easy!
The blog post where I found the recipe claimed that it was the “best French bread ever” and I have to say that it is pretty darn good! I have only made a couple of small alterations. Firstly I have reduced the sugar slightly because I thought that that bread was just a little bit too sweet. I have also suggested the use of a ‘Bread Improver’ which can be bought at the supermarket and enhances the quality of the bread.
Otherwise it is the best homemade bread I have ever tasted!
The recipe was found here. The original recipe made two loaves but I only want one at a time so I have halved the ingredients and I find that I get one very good size loaf.
As well as using the standard loaf tin, I have made a round cob loaf and I have used the recipe to make small dinner rolls. I might use it to make French sticks next!
I have also tried substituting the plain flour for soy and linseed flour and it made a tasty multigrain loaf.
- 1 Cup of Warm Water
- ½ a Heaped Tablespoon of Yeast
- 1 ½ Tablespoons of Sugar
- ½ Tablespoon of Olive Oil
- ½ Teaspoon of Salt
- ¾ Teaspoon of Bread Improver (Optional)
- 2 ½ Cups (350g) of Plain Flour
- First measure out the yeast, sugar, salt, bread improver, oil, and water into a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Cover with a tea towel and place in a warm location (5 – 10 mins) until the mixture gets foamy/bubbly looking - As suggested in the original recipe – I ran some warm water into the kitchen sink and sat the bowl in the water to warm it up.
- Add the flour gradually (either by hand or using a mixer with dough hooks) - If mixing by hand add the last of the flour while kneading it for several minutes and continue adding the flour till the dough is not sticky but not too dry either; If using a mixer with dough hooks, add almost all the flour and mix the dough for 7 – 8 minutes, then use the remaining flour as you shape the dough into a ball.
- Grease a bowl with more olive oil and roll the dough round in the oil to prevent it sticking.
- Place the bowl in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size (30 – 45 minutes) - For this step I covered the bowl in cling wrap and a tea towel and placed it in a sheltered sunny position outside.
- Now lightly knead the dough to degas it and then shape it as you like - I make one generous loaf by shaping it into a log and placing it into a non-stick standard loaf tin.
- Put the dough in a warm place again till it doubles in size.
- Spray the top lightly with cooking spray (or water) and then bake at 200°C (400°F) for 20 – 25 minutes or until a hollow sound is heard when tapping the top of the loaf.