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Crusty French Bread Excellent
Submitted by T Hill

Crusty French Bread

If you have time, allow a second rise before shaping to develop more flavor in the bread, but it is very good without it, too.

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Ingredients

1¼       cups warm (105-110°F) warm water


4          teaspoons active dry yeast


6¼       cups unbleached, all-purpose or bread flour


1¾        cake flour


¾         cup wheat germ


3½       teaspoons fine sea salt


1½       cups cold water


           extra flour for dusting bread


 


Instructions

Place the warm water in the Cuisinart™ mixing bowl. Stir in yeast and a tablespoon of the flour; let stand for 5 minutes, until mixture is foamy and bubbly.


While yeast is proofing, combine 5 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour and 1¼ cups of cake flour with the wheat germ and salt. Add the cold water and the flour mixture to the yeast mixture. Insert the dough hook and mix on speed 2 for 2 minutes. Combine remaining flours and reserve. Continuing on speed 2, add the remaining flour mixture 1 tablespoon at a time until a dough ball forms that clings to the dough hook and cleans the sides of the bowl. Set the timer for 4 minutes and the speed to 3 to allow the dough to knead.


Dust dough ball lightly with flour and place in a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm, draft free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Punch dough down, recover, and let rise again until doubled in size. (This last rise can be omitted if pressed for time, but makes for a more flavorful loaf, with a more artisanal bread texture and crust.) Punch dough down and divide into 3 pieces. Shape each into a long narrow loaf, about 14 to 16 inches in length, and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 45 to 60 minutes.


Preheat oven to 425°F.


Dust loaves generously with flour. Make 4 or 5 diagonal slashes in the top of each loaf about ¼-inch deep, using a serrated knife, razor or lame. Bake in preheated 425°F oven 25 to 30 minutes until browned and hollow sounding when tapped. Cool on a wire rack.


Bread slices best when allowed to cool completely before slicing.

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Servings

Makes three loaves, about 1 pound each

Nutritional Information
Per Serving

no nutrition information available

This recipe can be prepared using the following Cuisinart® products:
7 Quart Stand Mixer


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