Saturday, March 2, 2013

Super Fast French Bread

French bread pairs well with many dishes. But often times by the time we need it it's too late to run to the store and we don't have hours to spend kneading and waiting and then kneading and waiting some more.
Never fear again.

This recipe from Deals to Meals will change your life.  
It has mine. 
Thank you.

In my particular dinner scenario, I was making chili; delicious, savory chili that yearned for a crispy-edged but soft center bread; but my chili was to be done in 1 hour!
Enter, this recipe.
It's the amount of yeast that does it; Putting your dough on overdrive, in a good way.

Now, the original recipe made 2 to VERY large loafs or 3 medium-small loafs.
But I cut the recipe in half and made 1 large, beautiful loaf. However, I did have to have faith during the process....

I cut the recipe into an approximate half and just had faith that it would work out. Well  I was following the directions exactly and I came to the steamy-water oven phase and well, my dough was not "rising to the top of the bowl" so that I could "punch it down." It did grow a little, but it actually got super moist and I had to add more flour to handle it.

So after about 15 min in the steamy sauna, I decided shape the dough and let it rise. Now this was another faith moment. The original recipe states that you can place your ready-shaped dough in the oven at 170 F. to rise until it's the size you want it to be and then just turn your oven up to 375 F. WITHOUT OPENING THE OVEN. to bake to perfection. My problem, I don't have a window on my oven. Just an older plain, non-see-through  oven door. But I had faith. I turned the oven to 170, placed my shaped dough inside, set the timer for 15 (no idea why, but sounded good) and once the timer went off up to 375 the temp went for 20 min.
When the time came to open the door, it was a miracle. I had a golden brown, delicious looking loaf a bread, ready to be devoured with my chili.

It's inside?  A little dense--probably because it didn't rise much so not enough air was in the dough-- but PERFECT for soaking up soup!

So now, do you need bread? Have 60 min? Go.

1 1/2 cup water, warmed
1 tbs yeast
1 1/2 tbs sugar
1 tbs vinegar
1/2 tbs salt
3 tsp oil (i used canola)
3-4 cups flour, measure out 3 and you may need to add more as you go.
1 egg, whisked
pot of boiling water

Lightly spray a large baking sheet with an oil (cooking spray or misto!) and sprinkle with cornmeal, set aside.

Start a a pot of water and bring to boil.

Mix the warm water, yeast, sugar, and vinegar together and let it sit to get bubbly--about 3-5 min.

Mix salt, oil, and flour together in a medium bowl.

When yeast mixture is nice and bubbly mix with flour mixture and knead 2-5 times in bowl. Add flour as needed to fold dough.

Place kneaded dough and boiled water in a OFF oven and let rest for 10-15 min. Dough may rise, if so, punch down, and let rest.

Place dough on a floured surface and shape into a loaf. Place onto prepared baking sheet.
The loaf  may be soft and spread out but do not fear, add flour as needed and keep working.
Make large, deep slashes into the top of bread if desired (I did but they baked out, lol)
Whisk egg and spread on dough.
Preheat oven 170-175 F.
Place dough into the oven until the size you want, or for those without window ovens about 15 min, then turn oven up to 375 F. and bake for 20-25 min.

Open your oven to see a beautiful, golden, french bread. 




  1. Made this tonight to go with some soup! It didn't rise much, but I think I overheated the water with the yeast. It still looks and smells amazing!


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