Basic French Bread

by Xinyu on 15th Oct, 2011

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We bake a lot of bread, oftentimes one loaf a week. While we usually do sandwich bread (the squarish, spongy Pullman loaf for example), I decided to make some classic French bread instead. The most beautiful thing about this bread is how basic and simple it is; just the four essential ingredients that make it bread. And it tastes great too. We'll be eating this for our breakfast next week.
If you've never baked bread before, I suggest you follow the lessons here [The Fresh Loaf]. That's the site where this recipe came from too (more or less).

Basic French Bread

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups water
3 cups flour
2 tsp salt
2 tsp yeast
1 1/4 cups water
Combine flour, salt and yeast in a bowl. Mix, then form a depression in the mixture and add water. Combine everything to form a dough. Knead dough till smooth and elastic. I usually have a bit of olive oil in a saucer and use that to oil my hands while kneading, it helps prevent the dough from sticking.

Rest for 1 hour. Fold dough to redistribute, then rest for 1 more hour.

Form and shape dough to your liking. Proof for 1 final hour. Razor loaf, then bake in an oven at 200°C for 45 minutes or until internal temperature reaches around 90°C. Remove for oven and leave to cool sufficiently before slicing.
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