Quick French Bread

by Shawnda on October 22, 2007

in Bread

I day dream about running off to Paris, spending cool afternoons on cafe-lined sidewalk and living off of bread for a month. Until that day comes, I’ll pretend that the French bread I bake is actually French :)

Of all the breads I make, this one is probably my favorite. It’s quick enough for weeknights, it’s a great vehicle for hard cheeses and herbs, and it’s scandalously white :)

Quick French Bread

A quicker, light and chewy french baguette.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 tsp salt
  • oil, for coating bowl

Instructions

  1. Put water, sugar, and yeast into the stand mixer bowl. Let stand for 10 minutes until frothy.
  2. Add flour in three batches and knead for 5-7 minutes on medium speed with the dough hook (adding additional flour if the dough is too sticky).
  3. Cover bowl and let rest for 15 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle dough evenly with salt and knead on medium speed for 1 minute to incorporate salt.
  5. Transfer to an oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover and let rise until dough has doubled (this takes ~35 minutes with my oven set to "Dough Proof").
  6. Preheat oven to 425. Place broiler pan in the bottom of the oven.
  7. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and punch down.
  8. Divide dough in half and shape into loaves.
  9. Using a razor blade or sharp knife (I have a super sharp 4" blade from that orange home improvement store that I use specifically for slicing dough), slash the top of the loaves every 2-3 inches. The blade should be sharp enough to do all the work for you - pressing down on the dough will only deflate your loaves.
  10. Place into the oven. Pour 3/4 cup hot water into the broiler pan and shut the oven door.
  11. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Notes

Yields: 2 loaves

Adapted from AllRecipes

Estimated time: 1 hour 45 minutes

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Deborah October 22, 2007 at 8:44 am

What a perfect looking bread!!

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2 Katerina October 22, 2007 at 11:30 am

Wow, a weeknight bread I am impressed.

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3 Katiez October 22, 2007 at 1:48 pm

They look gorgeous – and very French!
We have a bread truck that delivers our baguettes 3 days a week….

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4 Chris October 24, 2007 at 7:44 pm

Wow! This looks like something straight out of the bakery. Well done!

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5 Christine @ Christine's Kitchen Chronicles September 26, 2011 at 7:06 am

Wow a French bread that takes under 2 hours to make?! I have French Bread on my “to make” list for the year and while I had bookmarked a far more complicated recipe, I just might be making this one instead. Thank you!

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6 Jo May 13, 2012 at 10:54 am

Wow! This was amazing! My normal recipe is lengthy.. And I needed a baguette quick to turn into crisps for a dip I made for a party.. I couldn’t believe how beautiful the loaves were.. Inside they were perfect! Only thing I did differently was roll out the dough and roll/ pinch into baguettes. The crisps disappeared.. But I almost served the bread on its own. Keeper!

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7 Katie July 22, 2012 at 7:15 pm

What kind of yeast are you using? Rapid rise, high active….? This looks so incredible! :)

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8 foodiebride July 22, 2012 at 7:16 pm

Active dry yeast

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9 Deanna- April 26, 2013 at 6:54 am

Dumb question, new to bread making. Making this bread for french dip sandwhiches… what do you mean set your oven to “dough proof” during the rising? Are you getting the oven warm (200) and then setting the bowl on the oven to help the rising or can I let the dough set in room temp. to rise? Thanks so much and can’t wait to try this!

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10 Shawnda April 26, 2013 at 8:37 am

My oven has a 100-degree setting for proofing dough. You can either use a slightly warm oven or just room temp.

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11 Joan May 30, 2013 at 2:52 pm

My husband has high cholesterol, so I add 1/2 cup of golden flax meal and subtract 1/2 cup of flour. He thinks he’s just eating French bread, but he gets a little help with his cholesterol, too.

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12 Vandana December 8, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Do I place the dough directly on the oven rack to bake? Or on the broker pan?

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13 Shawnda December 9, 2013 at 8:59 am

Bake it on a pan or a stone.

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14 Ginny July 19, 2014 at 1:26 pm

This is delicious! Super easy to make and delicious to boot!

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15 Kat February 5, 2015 at 4:32 pm

I don’t have a stand mixer. Can you tell me how to make the bread with hand-held mixer and manual labor? I am trying to learn to make yeast breads (I’ve been baking only quick breads. I love them but I want to make the yummy, light, soft inside and crisp outside, fresh out of the oven, can’t wait to slather butter all over it, bread! – your French bread!), and I’m getting as little discouraged because I don’t have and can’t buy a mixer anytime soon! :(
What did women do before Kitchen Aid?

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16 Shawnda February 7, 2015 at 5:02 pm

I have no idea how the pioneers did it ;) When you mix, start with a large bowl and a wooden or other large spoon until it gets too tough to stir, then dump it on a floured counter and just go at it by hand.

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