Fabulous French loaves

    2 hours 5 min

    A homemade French bread that will make 2 loaves. Any leftovers make great garlic bread. Mixing it will give your arm a workout, so use a sturdy spoon!

    353 people made this

    Makes: 2 loaves

    • 15g (1/2 oz) dried active baking yeast
    • 100ml (4 fl oz) warm water (45 C)
    • 450ml (16 fl oz) water
    • 800g (1 3/4 lb) bread flour
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
    • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 2 tablespoons polenta
    • 1 egg white, beaten
    • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

    Prep:1hr30min  ›  Cook:35min  ›  Ready in:2hr5min 

    1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
    2. In a large bowl, combine the yeast mixture with 450ml water, 1/3 of the flour, salt, sugar and vegetable oil; stir well to combine. Stir in the remaining flour, a little at a time, beating well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
    3. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
    4. Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a 23x30cm (9x12 in) rectangle and roll up swiss roll style, starting at long edge. Seal edges and place seam side down on a large baking tray that has been sprinkled with polenta.
    5. Use a sharp knife to slash each loaf diagonally 3 times. Brush with beaten egg white and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Cover and allow to rise 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200 C / Gas mark 6.
    6. Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until golden brown.

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    Reviews in English (293)


    Délicieux, tout simplement parfait. This has to be the best bread I have baked to date. I followed the recipe exactly, no need to change anything at all. I will certainly be baking this again. Thank you for this excellent recipe.  -  07 Feb 2010


    Something else. The editor changed the original recipe a bit. I do it this way: after mixing all ingredients together, let rest 10 minutes (leaving spoon in batter). Stir vigorously, let rest another 10 minutes. Do this a total on 5 times instead of the traditional rising. After the 5th rest, turn onto a floured board and knead lightly (I barely knead at all). I then shape the loaves and continue as in the posted version of the recipe. When shaping the loaves, I will sometimes put a mixture of basil, oregano, garlic, butter/olive oil and onion on it cinnamon roll style before rolling it for special, pretty garlic loaves.  -  15 Sep 2008


    Delicious, great for bread & butter, or for dips! However, as I was reading the reviews, I noticed that Liz, who submitted the recipe, gave the proper direction as to how she prepares this recipe. I'm confused Liz, as to why you would go through all of the trouble killing your arm, not to mention taking over an hour of stirring vigorously when you could simply knead it for the 8 minutes, let it rise for the hour & be done! I prepared this recipe as directed on the site & it came out beautifully! By the way, I added the 450ml of water in step 1. Thanks Liz , & thanks allrecipes for the modification!!  -  15 Sep 2008