Wednesday, May 1, 2013

French Bread ~ Two ways (Bread Machine Dough)

(You can have softer or crispier crust on these loaves ~see below for method).

As shared by Once Upon a Plate by Mari (

(Crispy Crust: Brush with egg wash only during last 5 minutes of bake time.)

Makes two 13 to 15" baguettes

1 1/2 cups water
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons dry milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 egg white, whisked with 1 Tablespoon water (see below for use)

Add first 8 ingredients to bread machine.
Select the dough cycle. 
(Or use the bread setting of your machine, but remove the dough before the baking cycle begins.)  Form into 2 baguette loaves.
Spray or lightly oil a large cookie sheet, or line with parchment paper; sprinkle with cornmeal.
Form loaves: Transfer dough (it will be soft) to a lightly floured board. 
Sprinkle with a little flour; cut dough into 2 portions. Roll each portion into a rectangle about 12 to 15 inches wide (add more flour as needed). 
Starting at long end, roll up; pinch seams well. Repeat with next roll. 

-Place loaves on prepared cookie sheet; cover with clean dish towel and let rise another hour. 

Preheat oven to 400°. Place a pie plate on the lower rack of the oven; add about 1 inch of boiling water to the pie plate.  With a very sharp knife or razor blade make 
3 or 4 diagonal slashes (almost parallel to surface of bread) along the length of 
the loaves just before placing in the oven.

For softer crust: Brush loaves with egg wash/water mixture when you put the bread into the oven. 
For crispy crustAbout 5 minutes before loaves are done, brush with egg white and water mixture. 
Bake bread for 15 minutes; lower heat to 350°. Bake for another 25 minutes. 

Tent with foil if bread is browning too quickly for your liking, bake until bottom of loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
You may need to adjust baking time; mine bake in a little less than 25 minutes during the 350º bake.

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