Crusty Country Style French Bread

Recipe by Brenda.
READY IN: 4hrs 10mins
YIELD: 2 loaves


  • 2
    cups water (warm 110 F or 43 C)
  • 1
    teaspoon sugar
  • 3 14
    teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 5 - 5 12
    cups flour (plus additional flour for dusting)
  • 2 12
    teaspoons salt
  • 1
    egg white, lightly beaten with a pinch of salt


  • In a small bowl, combine the warm water and sugar, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
  • Add the yeast and stir gently to mix.
  • Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine 4 cups of the flour and the salt. Beat on low speed just until combined.
  • Slowly add the yeast mixture and beat just until incorporated about 1 minute.
  • Increase the speed to medium low to medium and beat for 10 minutes adding more flour, about 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough is elastic and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. (I used speed 4 on my Artisan when I still had it and now use speed 2 with my P600).
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 1 minute.
  • Form into a ball and dust lightly with flour.
  • Sprinkle a little flour into a bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk. 45-60 minutes.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
  • Punch down the dough and knead for a few seconds.
  • Form the dough into a ball and return to the bowl again.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk. 20- 30 minutes.
  • Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and punch down.
  • Cut the dough into 2 equal pieces and shape each into a ball.
  • Let rest 5 minutes.
  • Line a french bread pan with a clean kitchen towel (a large flour sack towel works well) and sprinkle with a little flour.
  • Roll each ball into a log with tapered ends, about the length of the pan, and place on the towel in the pan. Cover with the overhanging edges of the towel and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.
  • Position an oven rack in the lowest position of the oven, and place a baking pan 1/3 full of boiling water on the rack.
  • Preheat oven to 425 F (220C).
  • Gently lift the towel holding the loaves off of the pan, taking care not to let the loaves touch each other and set on a work surface.
  • Spray the pan with non-stick cooking spray and using the towel as a guide gently flip each loaf into a well in the pan.
  • Brush off excess flour.
  • Using a sharp knife, make 3-5 diagonal slashes in the loaves about 1/4 inch deep (6mm).
  • Brush with the beaten egg white mixture.
  • Bake on center rack until the bread sounds hollow when tapped, about 30-35 minutes.
  • Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool the loaves in the pan until room temperature.