Our family LOVES French bread. If we have any leftovers, I make croûtons out of it or use it with French onion soup. This recipe came from my Oster bread machine cookbook. You can also use only the "dough" option on your bread machine and bake baguettes in the oven.
- Add all ingredients to your bread machine as your directions instruct.
- Mine go like this:.
- Add liquid ingredients to bread pan.
- Add all dry ingredients, except yeast, to bread pan.
- Make a well in the dry ingredients and carefully add the yeast into the well.
- Select the "French" setting on your machine.
- Select crust color, if applicable.
- Press start!
- OVEN METHOD:.
- To make loaves in the oven, use the "Dough" cycle on your machine.
- When cycle is complete, punch dough down and divide into 2 equal parts.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll each half into a rectangle, about 10 x 15.
- Starting at the long side, roll each rectangle, jelly roll style, into a tight, long loaf. Seal seams and ends by pinching dough together.
- Place loaves seam sides down on a large, ungreased baking sheet. You may sprinkle some cornmeal or flour on the pan under where you'll be placing the loaves.
- Cover loaves with a clean towel and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes, until almost double in size.
- Preheat oven to 375*. Place a pan of hot water on the bottom rack of your oven. This will create steam inside the oven while the bread is baking to give you an authentic crust.
- Using a very sharp knife, carefully make 3 or 4 diagonal slashes in each loaf, cutting about 1/2 inch down into dough.
- If you choose, at this time you can carefully brush on an egg white glaze (one egg white beaten with 1 tbl. of water) and sprinkle with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried onion or garlic, etc., if desired.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes (or until loaves sound hollow when tapped) on middle oven rack.
- Cool on wire racks and serve warm.