This is a very simple and quick French Bread. It has a finer texture and more of a chewy crust than what you get from the bakery. I found this in an Bon Appetite years and years ago. I sometimes make rolls rather than loaves. With this coming together so quickly you can easily make large batches; with two students helping to shape the rolls I've made 6 batches, start to finish in under two hours. Prep time doesn't include rising time.
- Grease baguette pans for two loaves or cookie sheet if making rolls.
- Combine 1/2 cup cup water,1 1/2 Tbls yeast,1 teaspoon sugar;in food processor bowl, let sit 5 minutes to proof.
- Add 3 1/4 cups flour, 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1 teaspoon sugar, process for 30 secs.
- Slowly add 1 cup of water with the processor running, once dough comes together process mix for 1 minute.
- Check dough, it will be slightly moist and sticky, add extra flour if needed and process for 30 seconds.
- For loaves, divide dough in half and shape into 2- 11"-12" loaves( I usually hold it and squeeze gently starting in the middle and working towards the ends, letting it hang from my hands). Place on pan, and cut or snip 4 diagonal slashes into top of the loaf.
- For rolls pinch off dough and form 24 balls place on cookie sheet. Snip a small slash into the top of each roll.
- Set loaves or rolls in a warm spot to rise, rise for 40 - 60 minurtes for loaves, 30- 40 minutes for rolls, depending how warm your room is.
- As soon as you set you bread to rise, Preheat oven to 450 degrees, after 20 minutes place a shallow pan of warm water on the lower rack of you oven.
- Bake for 10 minutes, lower temperature to 400 degrees bake 15 minutes more, check rolls at 10 minutes.
- With the oven I have now, I have to remove the loaves from the pan turn them over and bake for 5 minutes more to get the bottom crusty, you may have to also.