Soft, bakery-style French bread, the chewy crust sprinkled with an especially tasty grey sea salt.
After tinkering with a few recipes, I now have my go-to recipe for French bread. The recipe produces two lovely baguettes or one larger loaf. Either way, it’s hard to stop with just one slice of this bread, and it looks as appetizing as it tastes. After having difficulty getting bread to rise in our Arctic home, I now rely on my Zojirushi bread machine to prepare the dough for this recipe. The loaves are then finished off in the oven. From start to finished bread, it takes about two and a half hours. A warm slice slathered with butter is the perfect accompaniment for Jack’s delicious clam chowder.
Homemade French Bread
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 2 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp active dry yeast
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp water
- 2 tsp grey sea salt (or other artisan rock salt)
- Place first six ingredients in the bread machine pan in the order recommended by the manufacturer and select dough setting. Add 1 – 2 tsp of water during cycle if dough does not form into a ball.
- After dough cycle completes, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface.
- Divide in half.
- Roll each half into a rectangle, approximately 10 inches by 8 inches.
- Roll up each rectangle, jelly-roll style, along the long side to produce long loaves.
- Pinch seams to seal.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place loaves, seam side down, on pan.
- Cover and let loaves rise in a warm place until doubled, about 20 minutes.
- Whisk egg and water. Brush loaves with egg mixture. Make 4 shallow slashes across loaves. Sprinkle loaves with sea salt.
- Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 – 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Cool on wire rack.