A whole lotta baking has been going on around here lately. It serves as a sort of therapy, it makes my husband happy (his eyes practically roll back in his head when I offer him a slice of warm, fresh baked bread 🤣), and it’s practical right now, because bread has been hard to come buy in the stores, and we are absolutely not going to run around looking for bread while we are staying home.
I’ve baked a lot of bread in my time, but even more so during this time of social distancing. Artisan bread, homemade hamburger buns, homemade pizza dough, Texas Roadhouse copycat rolls have all happened in the last couple of weeks. Homemade French Bread was something I hadn’t tried before, so I gave it a whirl. And you know what? It was so easy! Really, anyone can make this.
Homemade French Bread Loaf
- 2 cups warm water (110 degrees)
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- 2 ½ tsp sugar
- 5-6 cups flour
- 2 ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp olive oil
- In bowl (of stand mixer if using), combine the warm water, yeast and sugar. Let sit for 5 minutes, or until it has begun to foam.
- Place 2 cups of flour into a large mixing bowl (or bowl of your stand mixer) with the salt. Stir in the yeast mixture and begin to knead by hand or using a dough hook and stand mixer. Add remaining flour 1/2 cup full at a time until the dough is smooth but not sticky. Rub the olive oil around the dough ball and let rest for 15 minutes.
- Turn the dough onto a floured surface and divide in half. Roll one half into a rectangle. Starting from the long side, roll the dough into a cylinder. Turn both ends in and pinch the seams closed. Round the edges and place onto a baking sheet. Repeat with the second dough ball. Make three diagonal cuts across the top of each loaf. Let rise for 30-45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
- Tips: For a crispier/shinier crust on the french bread loaf, brush 1 egg white (whisked) with a teaspoon of water before baking.For a softer and more flavorful crust, brush homemade french bread with melted butter right when it comes out of the oven.
Italian Herb Dipping Oil
After you’ve made your delicious, fresh-baked French bread, whip up this simple dipping oil to serve it with. It’s so easy, and will remind of the pre-corona days when you could dine out at a nice restaurant. 😂Those days will come again, friends, but until then, there’s fresh bread to make us feel better. ❤️
Italian Herb Dipping Oil
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp dried Italian seasoning
- ½ tbsp fresh rosemary chopped
- 1-2 tsp fresh garlic diced
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together.
- Serve with bread.
Wishing you peace and health,
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