Sunday, November 21, 2010

Fabulous French Bread

The Nutcracker performance is over! It was a really great night. All of the hard work paid off for sure. I was so proud of my students and think/hope that the audience was entertained. I'll post pics/video once the videographer is finished.

Perhaps the best part of the hard work was when I finally went to sleep last night... had one of those deep sleeps where you don't remember falling asleep, don't remember dreaming, and wake up feeling like you just closed your eyes 2 minutes ago. It was amazing. I also enjoyed a 2 hour nap today... no interruptions. Yup. I feel like a new woman.

Our cute neighbors invited us over for dinner tonight, so I baked some of Aunt Janet's famous french bread to take with us. This recipe is super easy, even for learners, and fairly quick in the bread world. This recipe makes 4 very large loaves, so I often halve the recipe and bake 4 smaller loaves, or you can freeze the bread to pull out for later meals (french dip sandwiches, paninis, stuffing, etc).

Aunt Janet's French Bread

1/2 cup sugar
4 tsp salt
1 quart (4 cups) hot water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
12 1/2 cups flour (preferably bread flour, but I use all purpose and it's still great)
2 TBS yeast dissolved in 1 cup lukewarm water

Mix sugar, salt, oil, and hot water in mixer (ideally a bosch). Add half the flour. Add the yeast mixture and stir. (At this point I swap out the beaters for my bread hook.) Add remaining flour and mix. Knead the dough well with the bread hook attachment for 2 minutes. Place dough in large greased bowl and let rise until double in size.

Punch down and divide into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece out into a rectangle, and then roll into a long loaf and tuck the ends under.
Place 2 loaves on each cookie sheet and and let rise for another 1/2 hour. Make a few slits in the top of the loaf with a sharp knife.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.



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