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French Bread Recipe (baguettes)

These days, it's unusual to know how to make bread.

French Bread

Once you've eaten these crusty, chewy baguettes, you're sure to agree that bread is the staff of life.

You'll wonder what you ate with soup and salad (or anything) before French baguettes. And how you lived before you knew how to make your own French bread.

Bread like this is pure pleasure, and you deserve a treat now and then. By the way, this French baguette recipe is fat free!

Total prep & cook time: 60 min

8 Servings

Nutrition Data, 82g Serving: 188 calories, calories from fat 7, 38g carbohydrate, 0g sugars, 1g fat, 293mg sodium, 1g dietary fiber, very low Saturated Fat, Cholesterol, good source Thiamin, Niacin, Folate, Manganese and Selenium. Estimated glycemic load: 26

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 t salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp instant yeast

Directions:

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  • Mix the bread flour with the salt and yeast
  • Stir in the water with a wooden spoon
  • Once you can no longer mix with the spoon begin kneading the dough, incorporating all the water and flour until a ball of dough that is neither too wet nor too dry is formed
  • If you need to add more water or flour knead it in by the tablespoon until the right consistency is reached
  • Continue kneading the dough for 10 minutes
  • Dust the ball of dough with flour and place in a large bowl
  • Cover with plastic wrap or a damp dish towel and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 or two hours
  • Divide the dough into two and shape into baguettes by forming the dough into a rectangle of the desired length and about 4-6 inches in width
  • Roll the rectangles into logs
  • Pull the top of the roll over the ends of the baguette and pinch along the seam to seal
  • Place the baguettes on a lightly oiled baking sheet
  • Cover the baguettes and allow to rest 20 minutes
  • While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  • Bake for 5 minutes, then turn the oven down to 375
  • Bake until golden brown
  • Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack
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Recipe Tips:

Back in the good old days, people often made their own bread. My Mom could bake bread in a wood stove! But now, it's unusual to know how to make bread. We know you can trip down to the grocery store and buy baguettes anytime, but making bread is fun!

We recommend this French bread recipe for a day when you've got a couple of hours to mess around in the kitchen. Turn on your favorite music, unplug the phone, put on an apron, and have a blast.

If you're overcome with guilt about all the white flour, feel free to use half whole wheat bread flour in your French bread. You'll get a smaller, more compact baguette.

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