Monday, July 19, 2010

French Bread

Flour (100%), water (70%), yeast (1.25%) and salt (1.8%)—this is a pretty basic recipe for a French baguettes. It is a simple straight dough. There are no special techniques—no preferement and no autolyses. The bread is easily made in under one day. This is a type of bread that I've made hundreds of times.

There were no surprises with this bread. The results were excellent. This particular recipe doesn't quite develop the flavor that can be achieved with a preferment. But the bread is considerably less trouble. It won't keep very well, but that's rarely an issue since you're apt to inhale this bread.

This recipe produces a soft, satiny dough that is easy to work with, and easy to adapt. I've use it to make both baguettes and large rolls. The recipe for four baguettes will give 16 hamburger size rolls. These take about 12-15 minutes to cook. Or you can mix and match making some baguettes and some rolls.
I won't pretend that there aren't better recipes for French style bread, but none provide better quality with less work.

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