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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.

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jimnyo October 18, 2010

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!

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WyomingMoonDust April 15, 2011

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.

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lorahelms October 22, 2012

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!

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petlover March 30, 2011

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!

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cooking_neko83 October 27, 2009

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!

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Nalani P. November 06, 2013

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.

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sutsenwu August 12, 2013

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.

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Bobbin January 26, 2012

I used this bread to soak up all the lovely juices from a big pot of mussells I had made. Excellent bread. My crust didn't come out as crusty as I thought it would, so next time, I will spray my oven a couple of times with water and that should achieve the results I want. Thanks for the posting!!

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Abby Girl September 25, 2010

Delicious bread! I made a half recipe and used the breadmaker to make the dough. I baked and then made into garlic bread. It made a nice light bread with chewy crust. Will make again!

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StacyMD187373 April 04, 2010
Crusty French Bread