French bread

    1 hour 5 min

    This bread has a crisp, crunchy crust and slightly chewy centre.

    1093 people made this

    Serves: 30 

    • 750g (1 2/3 lb) plain flour
    • 20g (2/3 oz) dried active baking yeast
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 450ml (16 fl oz) warm water (45 C)
    • 1 tablespoon polenta
    • 1 egg white
    • 1 tablespoon water

    Prep:25min  ›  Cook:40min  ›  Ready in:1hr5min 

    1. In a large bowl, combine 1/3 of the flour, yeast and salt. Stir in warm water, and beat until well blended using a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.
    2. On a lightly floured surface, knead in enough flour to make a stiff dough that is smooth and elastic. Knead for about 8 to 10 minutes total. Shape into a ball. Place dough in a greased bowl, and turn once. Cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled.
    3. Punch dough down, and divide in half. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover, and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll each half into large rectangle. Roll up, starting from a long side. Moisten edge with water and seal. Taper ends.
    4. Grease a large baking tray. Sprinkle with polenta. Place loaves, seam side down, on the prepared baking tray. Lightly beat the egg white with 1 tablespoon of water, and brush on. Cover with a clean damp tea towel. Let rise until nearly doubled, 35 to 40 minutes.
    5. With a very sharp knife, make 3 or 4 diagonal slits across top of each loaf. Bake in a preheated 190 C / Gas mark 5 oven for 20 minutes. Brush again with egg white mixture. Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until bread tests done. If necessary, cover loosely with aluminium foil to prevent over browning. Remove from baking tray, and cool on a wire rack.

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    Reviews in English (992)


    Altered ingredient amounts. Quick disclaimer...I loved this recipe; great crust with a soft, yet chewy center. With that said, I'll poke some holes in the instructions. First, I used 5 teaspoons of yeast in my trial batch and it went well. Secondly, most people (like me) may want to add more salt and some butter. The trial batch came out a bit bland. I'm going to add another 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a tablespoon of butter. Since butter is only 15% water, one tablespoon shouldn't affect your total liquids that much. One last note, the first rise in my trial batch doubled in 30 minutes. Luckily the bench proof added another 40 minutes to the rise. With those adjustments made, this recipe is great.  -  14 Jul 2008


    Altered ingredient amounts. All I can say is "Wow". I tried this recipe twice. The first time I made this, I found the bread to be a bit too dense, but the second time, I added a pinch more yeast and used less flour. I made a nice long baguette and brushed the loaves with just a beaten egg white (left out the water) and I got a nice crust and a lighter loaf. Has come out perfect every time.  -  14 Jul 2008


    Have made this superb bread several times added extra yeast 5 tsp in total added 1 tbs melted butter. It is so good and easy to make and is a favourite with my family and friends. !Thanks for the recipie !  -  06 Sep 2012