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Topic: French Bread - More Photos - Image Heavy  (Read 2968 times)
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« on: April 20, 2008 02:10:26 PM »

edit: added more photos of the process

I made this using my own modified version of a recipe from King Arthur Flour. Feel free to follow their version or mine. It has minor differences.

Starter (make this the night before - can easily be done right before bed)
1 Cups White Bread Flour (can be substituted for All Purpose Flour)
tsp. Active Dry Yeast (can be substituted for instant yeast)
1 Cup Warm Water (around 100F)

Place flour in a large bowl and sprinkle yeast on top. Pour water in and mix together until creamy (it won't be dough, more like a thick batter actually, it will be a dough). Cover with plastic and let sit out overnight.



1 Cup Warm Water (around 100F)
tsp. Active Dry Yeast (or tsp. Instant Yeast)
1 Tbsp. Sugar
3 Cups Flour (Bread or All Purpose)
1 tsp. Salt

Add yeast, sugar and water to the starter (which will be puffy and bubbly) and mix. Add flour and salt (be sure to mix the salt with the flour a bit - as salt will kill yeast if mixes directly with it) and roughly mix. Let sit for 10 minutes.

Pour the dough (and extra flour left over in the bowl) onto your counter and knead together. This should take about ten minutes. Add a bit more flour if it's too sticky, or a bit of water if it's too dry. It should be smooth and elastic.


Place in a very well-greased bowl and cover. Let rise until doubled - this can very greatly on the temperature of the room it's in.

After the dough has doubled, very gently remove it from the bowl and degas a bit (don't flatten or punch all the gas out), you don't half to actually do anything, as removing and cutting it will remove a good bit of the bubbles. Cut in half, and very gently form each into a loaf. Do this by pushing the sides around and to the back of the loaf and pinching or pressing very firmly together to make a seam. Place the loaf gently on a piece of parchment. Repeat for other loaf.

After it has risen, before being cut and shaped:

Put the loaves in a couche. You can make your own couche using a piece of fabric and some boxes (like little boxes of macaroni or crackers). Place the parchment on the cloth and push up the edges  of the cloth and hold them there with on box on either side. Repeat for other loaf. This will help the loaves rise up and not out - resulting in a loaf that has height and is not flat.

In a couche (I hadn't added anything to the sides for support yet. I have the loaves on parchment paper to prevent sticking, and so I can easily move them to the sheet for cooking):

Let rise again until puffy, but not quite doubled. Slash top of loaves with razor blade (yes, it has to be that sharp) and dust with flour. Slide onto a cookie sheet (I put two loaves on one large airbake sheet) or baking stone. Bake in a preheated 475F oven for 15 minutes, steaming four or five times. Reduce heat to 425 and bake for 20-30 minutes or until down (rich golden brown with an un-soggy bottom).

STEAM AT YOUR OWN RISK. To steam, pour hot water into an empty metal pan in the bottom of the oven or use a clean spray bottle with water to mist the oven. Be very careful not to hit the light bulb, the door or anything else that is glass - it will shatter if water hits it. Close the door immediately. This is not recommended for some modern ovens, as steam can get into the electronics and mess up your oven. I have a modern oven and have been risking it, and nothing has gone wrong yet, just be careful.


« Last Edit: April 26, 2008 07:53:44 PM by madelaine - Reason: Added More Photos! » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2008 02:19:31 PM »

it looks yummy!

« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2008 02:20:01 PM »

Oh, that looks delicious! 

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« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2008 02:20:22 PM »

looks delish--can't wait to try the recipe--sucks i have to work 12 hours the next two days and can't make this.  i bookmarked so i can start Tues nite and have on Wednesday.  Thanks bunches for the recipe.
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2008 02:49:14 PM »

Thank you. It went very well with a turkey I roasted last night for dinner. Smiley Feel free to post images of your finished loaves if any of you do try out this recipe.
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2008 12:03:20 PM »

Looks so great and so good!
Sick of eating toast bread....
Bread like that is just good with butter and homemade jam, no wait a slice of cheese...oh no, am hungry now. Cheesy
Thanks for sharing !
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« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2008 04:27:22 PM »

Well, i made my bread today (well, i started it last night)  you can click this link to see the finished product
did i do the couche right?

And my starter wasn't gushy--it looked more like really soft dough (after it sat all night--at first it looked like dough)
did i do something wrong--i followed the recipe to a t.

I also don't think i cut down deep enough with the scalpel blade, how deep should i go???

« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2008 07:26:11 PM »

After remaking the recipe twice in the past few days, I noticed that the starter wasn't as batter-like as i though it was before. You didn't do anything wrong, the couche looks perfect and they came out great! Excellent work. Cheesy

About cutting the holes before baking - I go anywhere from 1/2 an inch to a full inch. I just eyeball it. The dough usually pulls apart a bit after the cut, so I get it in quickly. Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2008 02:32:33 PM »

ha i googled steaming bread, and it makes it shiny and crispy on the outside.
got it.
i'm making this tomorrow and i am excited  Grin
the starter is doin it's thing right now Cheesy

my bread is so not as pretty as yours!
but it does taste good!

craftster post----> https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=245042.0

thanks again!!!
« Last Edit: May 09, 2008 10:57:50 AM by Rakuette » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2008 02:21:30 PM »

Mmm, French bread! <3 Thanks for posting that!

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