Once you’ve tried these french bread recipes you’ll never go back to those store bought loaves!
Making your own bread might sound complicated, but it’s not really, once you understand the process you’ll be able to make all sorts of different things.
Learn how to make french baguettes or sourdough bread, and with these basic ingredients you might like to improvise and add things like cheese or even olives.
Crusty French Bread Recipes
(French Baguette Recipe)
Here’s a crusty french bread recipe for making the classic french baguette.
You will need:
4.5 cups bread flour
1tbsp active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
2 cups water (must be warm)
Mix the yeast and flour together in a bowl. Add salt and water. Mix together all the ingredients until you have a dough. It should be quite sticky and maybe even a bit lumpy.
Spend the next 5-10 minutes kneading the dough until you have a smooth, soft texture.
Flour the surface of the dough, place in a bowl, cover with a damp teatowel and leave it to rise for about 1 hour. It should almost double in size.
Preheat the oven to 240C or on your highest setting.
Then, take the dough out of the bowl and cut up into 6-8 rectangles.
Roll them up into log shapes, making sure there aren’t any air bubbles. Let them sit and rest for another hour or so.
Cut diagonal marks across the dough and place in the oven with a bowl of water (remove the bowl after about 5 minutes.)Bake for 15 minutes.
French Bread Recipes
(Sourdough French Bread Recipe)
Once you try sourdough you’ll be addicted! Especially when toasted with butter.
The main difference between white and sourdough is that with sourdough you don’t use commercial yeast, but yeast already available in the flour and air naturally.
Its a little more time consuming to make, but not difficult.
First of all, you need to make a ‘starter’ which is just a mix of flour and water that you leave to ‘ferment’ for a while.
Mix a cup of flour and water each in bowl until you have a sticky paste. Cover with a damp teatowel (don’t use clingfilm) and leave on the kitchen counter. After a couple of days (sometimes up to 4), it should start to smell like its fermenting (a little like beer). It shouldn’t smell ‘bad’ though, and it shouldn’t be mouldy – if it is, you’ll need to throw it out and start again.
Next, you need to ‘feed’ the starter.
Add a cup of flour and enough water (around a cup) to form a dough and mix (ideally with your hands or a wooden spoon – try not to use metal). Then leave it for another 24 hours.
The mixture will start to bubble a bit now. You then need to throw out half the mix, then add another cup of water and flour like you did before.
Leave for another 12 hours or so. Take a look again – if it looks really bubbly and has that ‘beer’ smell, then this is a sign that it is ‘ready’; if it doesn’t look like it’s doing much at all, it might need another ‘feed’.
Now you are ready to make the bread.
2 cups starter
3 cups flour (replace half of the quantity with wholemeal, good for french style bread)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
Add oil, sugar and salt to the starter. Add the flour a little bit at a time, mixing as you go.
Once you have added all the flour, knead the dough until it has a nice soft texture. If it’s sticky, you may need to add more flour; if its dry and crumbly, add a little more water.
Then, cover with a damp teatowel and leave in a warm place, until it has doubled in size. This can take from 1 to 8 hours.
Knead some more then let it rest again until it has doubled in size (this can take a few hours again).
Set the oven to 350F, put the dough in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes.