Saturday, February 19, 2011

French Bread

Today's recipe is a french bread recipe but I rarely use it as a traditional french bread.  I most often use it to make sub rolls for a better want of a term.  Usually when we have pulled pork or bbq etc.  I really like the flavor of the bread for this use.  When I make them for rolls I just bake it, I don't do a french bread water spritz or steam which forms the crust and glaze on the outside of a french bread.  I think I got this recipe from a roommate back in college, I don't remember, that was a long time ago.  I started using it for sandwich type meals because it was fairly quick to make and didn't require kneading.  Instead you do several short risings.  I have used 1/2 whole wheat in the recipe and it turned out fine also. 

When forming loafs I make two long loafs which fit on a baking sheet side by side.  For rolls I make them in whatever shape I care too.  This time they turned out quite like hot dog buns.  I don't take the time to really carefully make them all exactly the same size and shape as you can see but you certainly can do so.  I also usually add an extra rise time.  Make sure you let them cool before slicing or the inside sort of stays too moist. But it's hard to resist hot bread.

French Bread

1/2 cup warm water
2 Tbl yeast
1 tsp sugar

Dissolve yeast and sugar in water in traditional method.  **If using Instant yeast add water and sugar to next step and add yeast after the first mix

2 cups hot water
3 tsp salt
3 cups flour
3 Tbl sugar
5 Tbl shortening

Mix all above until well combined.     **Add instant yeast now and mix in well.

Mix in another 3 cups flour. 

Let rise 15 minutes, punch down.  Repeat 3 times.
Divide dough in half for loaves and form as desired.  Let rise until double.  Bake 375deg. for 20-25 min.  Remove from pan and cool.

(I usually spray pan with 'pam' and dust with cornmeal. )

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