this rating is for the ingredients only. i used a different technique (from epicurious.com) to make sure it was crusty. first, i made the dough in my bread machine. then, i divided the dough into 2 lumps. i pressed each out into a rectangle and then rolled it up lengthwise to make 2 baguettes. i placed each on a cornmeal lined silpat mat on cookie sheets and basted with olive oil. i let loaves rise, uncovered, in a warm draft-free place 30 minutes.
then i put oven racks in upper third of oven, and put a large roasting pan with 1 inch of water in it on the bottom of the oven. preheat oven to 450°F. the high heat definitely gives it a crunchy exterior.
i made 3 shallow diagonal slashes down length of each loaf with razor. bake loaves 30 minutes, but watch closely b/c my top loaf ended up getting a little too dark, so maybe check at 20 mins. and bake until it sounds hollow. i did see another recipe on this site that called for baking the first 15 mins. and then 350 for the remainder, which i will try another time. i prefer this method to misting b/c it still gives me the crunchy crust w/o all the hassle.
You can't get simpler and best taste anywhere else! This is the go to bread recipe. After reading many reviews with people having trouble getting the crust real crunchy.. I sprayed mine with olive oil and water mixture. and raised my rack as suggested by another reviewer. Worked like a charm. Thanks for posting this awesome recipe PCrocker!
Very good recipe - I used all the ingredients and followed the directions that were pretty amazing, but I made a few changes:
1. I put a pan of water on the second rack and I threw in 2 large ice cubes straight on the bottom of the inside of the oven right after putting the bread into the oven to help in creating immediate steam to assist in getting the bread crusty.
2. I preheated the oven to 400 degrees and after it baked at that temperature for 10 minutes, I lowed the heat to 375 degrees.
Outstanding bread recipe and very easy to follow. I used the kitchenaid to knead th e dough. I used a perforated french bread baguette pan. And I halved the recipe ( one loaf). This took about 25 minutes to bake . Thanks PCrocker - i will make this one again!
I have just noticed that I've been making this recipe since January 2009 and I haven't done a review yet! This is the best french bread my husband and I have ever had. We no longer buy store-made when we want simple and fresh bread. The time it takes for the dough to rise can be quite long, but if you can put the dough together quickly, you can do other chores in the meantime. What I do differently is I make a single loaf instead of two and I add a tablespoon of vital wheat gluten to each cup of flour. This is amazing stuff because it makes the dough very elastic and the bread is so moist at the end. I highly recommend using this especially if you use whole wheat flour, which I do sometimes. And instead of using water on the crust in the last few minutes of baking, try basting on some olive oil. It makes for a sweet, crunchy crust that smells wonderful. My husband and I adore this bread!
This is the best French bread ever! Especially for a mom who has four growing kids. I make this bread in mini loaves. When they cool, I cut them in half, top with a little garlic butter, pizza sauce and various pizza toppings and shredded cheese, and freeze. Then when my kids, especially the older boys, are hungry, they just pop them in the microwave or toaster oven and voila, a perfect, and pretty healthy snack. I'll double this recipe and make about 8 - half loaves which give me 16 pizza's. Enough to last my household 2-3 weeks!
Great Recipe!!! Make 2 big beautiful loaves. My husband loves a really thick crust so I placed a metal pan with water to create steam. Made nice crunchy crust.
I have used this recipe frequently over the past 2 years. It is simple, it uses inexpensive ingredients. I use 5 1/2 cups of flour. I then add a tiny bit more water. I use my kitchenaid with the dough hook. The bread turns out great every time. Alot of times I make 12 mini loaves, I bake for less time. Maybe 18 - 20 minutes? I usually brush the tops with olive oil, then sprinkle sea salt, basil and pepper on top. Thank you for a fantastic recipe!
I followed the instruction exactly except I used 5 instead of 5 1/2 cups of flour as suggested by another reviewer. The bread came up beautifully. Thank you very much for sharing the recipe.
This was amazing and easy! Everyone in my house loved it. I baked it for 25 minutes at 350, then brushed with olive oil and baked 5 minutes more. I served it with olive oil sprinkled with herbs. Can't wait to make again.