How many nights a week do you grab a loaf of French bread, or Italian bread from the bakery at the grocery store? How many times have you read the ingredients? And how many times have you thought about how much that loaf of bread cost?
What if I told you, you could make your own bread, know exactly what was in it, and spend pennies? It is possible. In fact, it is so easy, your kids could help! Spend an afternoon and make a couple loaves; one for dinner tonight, and one for another day. This recipe is so simplistic you will wonder why you haven’t made it before.
The truth is people are scared by the thought of making their own bread. It is so easy. I even find it therapeutic to punch and kneed the bread dough. It is a great way to take out frustrations! The only problem is I have to clean the kitchen when I am done. Bread isn’t that messy, it’s the flour! The flour you have to put down on the counter is the messiest part.
All you need to make this recipe are pantry staples! You probably have the ingredients on hand right now! So, sit down and see how I made the best homemade French bread!
Homemade French Bread
Stir in enough remaining flour to form soft dough (2-3 cups).
Place seam side down on a parchment covered baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
Now, what does a smart cookie do with 2 loaves of fresh french bread. Well, eat one of course! While I have about 10 different recipes for the other one (including a out of this world french toast casserole) ~another day people~! We are going to turn it into garlic bread for the freezer. So, we can enjoy this delicious bread later in the week!
Here is how..
Slice the bread in half long ways. Spread butter or margarine on the cooled bread. Top with Garlic powder, and parsley if desired.
Wrap in aluminum foil and freeze. When you are ready to eat preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake for 10 minutes or until heated through!
Homemade French Bread
Yield 2 loaves
- 2 TBSP Active Dry Yeast (2 packets)
- 2 Cups Warm Water (110-115 degrees)
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 4 ½-5 cups bread flour ( I used all purpose)
- 1 tsp. cornmeal
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- In a bowl dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water.
- While waiting, add salt and 2 cups of flour to mixing bowl.
- Add yeast mixture and beat at medium speed until smooth.
- Stir in enough remaining flour to form soft dough (2-3 cups).
- Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. You will need to add flour to keep dough from sticking to counter or your hands.
- Pour 1 tbsp. of Olive oil in large bowl. Place dough ball in bowl turning once to grease the top.Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- After dough has risen punch down.Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Shape into 12 in long loaves.
- Place seam side down on a parchment covered baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
- Brush with olive oil, and sprinkle cornmeal on top. With a sharp knife, make 4 shallow slits across the top of each loaf.
- Bake at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.