11/19/2009

No-Fail Quick French Bread

A fabulous French Bread that takes just over an hour from start to finish?!
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus!... I am not the best at making homemade breads. I've tried zillions of recipes, some turn out part of the time, some are bad from the start.
I FINALLY found a quick and easy recipe for french bread, I've made this multiple times in the last month and it's come out great every time. I even tried it at 9,000 feet in Colorado and it worked, there, too! Hallelujah! All you need is a mixer with a dough hook (I used my KitchenAid).I was sent this recipe (the pictures are my own) and I think it's from a blog, the writing is very "blog-ish"...I've tried googling it and searching for it, so if it's from you, please let me know! I want to give you a huge hug. Or, at least a link to your blog.:)
No Fail Quick French Bread
Ingredients:
1 T shortening
1 T salt
2 T sugar
1 C boiling water
1 C cold water
1/3 C lukewarm water
1 T yeast (cut your yeast in half if you are at a high altitude)
4 1/2 C - 6 C flour
1 egg

Directions:
1. Place the 1 C hot water in the microwave for 3 minutes to get it boiling.
2. Dissolve the yeast into the warm water. Stir it around until it is all mixed.
3. Combine the salt, shortening, and sugar in the bottom of your mixer with a fork. The dough hook doesn't work very well.
4. Pour the boiling water over the shortening mixture.
5. Pour the cold water over the mixture.
6. Pour the warm water and yeast into the mixer.
7. Begin to add the flour, one cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the side of your mixer...see the picture below.
8. Let the dough mix on high for 8 minutes.
9. Let the dough rise in the mixer for about 20 minutes. (This step can actually be skipped if you are in a hurry!)
10. Separate the dough into three parts and place on a large jelly roll pan sprayed with cooking spray. Let the dough sit for about 5 minutes. Letting it sit will make it MUCH easier to shape.
11. Spread the dough out as pictured below.
12. Then roll the dough up like this.
13. Then bring the ends over and layer them on top of each other.
14. Turn the loaf so the seam side is down. Repeat these steps with the other 2 parts of dough.
15. Spray a sharp knife with cooking spray.
16. Make your egg wash by whisking the egg until frothy.
17. Cut three diagonal slits in the top of each loaf. Cover with the egg wash being sure to get it into all of the slits. 18. Place the loaves in a warm 170 degree oven and let rise for about 15 minutes.
19. Turn the oven up to 375 degrees for a convection oven, and 400 degrees for a regular oven. Leave the loaves in while the oven increases in temperature.
20. Bake for 10 minutes convection or 15 regular oven, or until the loaves are golden brown and crusty.
21. Turn the oven down to 325 for convection, 350 for regular and turn the pan around in the oven. Bake for another 7 minutes convection or 10 minutes for regular.

38 comments:

Amanda said...

Looks fabulous! I'll have to try this ;)

Sarah said...

I made these for dinner tonight and LOVED them! One flopped over and looked like a T-Rex after baking but all in all this is a great recipe! Quick and easy. Thanks for sharing!

oceanfairy79 said...

This couldn't have come on a better day. I've NEVER baked homemade bread and I really want to try it. I'm around 7000ft in Colorado so I'm very eager to try this out now!! I've been searching all day for bread tips! Thanks

Mandy said...

If you are at high altitude, cut your yeast in half (1/2 Tablespoon), it should work great.

Candy Girl said...

Looks great! I too struggle with homemade bread, or anything with yeast. The results are always edible but not great. Thanks for sharing!

Mindy said...

I am so glad you came by my blog - I love trying out new recipes and your blog looks like a goldmine! My family loves homemade bread and I am so thrilled when I find a "no fail" one. This is going on the menu at our house this week. :0)

Brandy said...

I made this tonight and it was DELICIOUS!!! Two of the loaves started to roll over during baking so next time I will make sure the bottom is a bit flatter, but it didn't affect the taste at all.

Thanks!

Mel said...

I made this recipe tonight. I've always had a little difficulty making bread, too. This recipe was so easy and this dough was simple to work with. Thank you so much. I froze two of the loaves for down the road!

[AnnieR] said...

I made these for a couple of people for Christmas treats along with some whipped cinnamon honey butter and it turned out fantastic. GREAT RECIPE, MANDY!

Heidi said...

I just made this with whole wheat flour(trying to cut out white flour from my diet). It was GREAT!!! I'm not sure exactly how much wheat flour it took cause I just mixed until it was the right consistency. I was so yummy and EASY!!! Thanks for the recipe, it's a keeper!!!

Mrsblocko said...

I made this a while ago and wrote about it here. My dough did flop a bit, but other than that it was delicious, fast and easy...a winning combo. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

K said...

We made this bread last night - I say 'we' because my 10 year old had to help - and everyone was hovering around the oven waiting for it to finish baking. We used that for sub sandwiches for dinner and it was a huge hit but everyone was disappointed to not get to try it as a stand alone bread. So, this morning, we made a second batch. The 10 and 3 year old helped with the mixer, the 8 year old helped dump in the flour cup by cup and both the 10 and 8 year old helped shape the loaves. As soon as it came out of the oven ALL the kiddos helped eat it - and two loaves were gone in a matter of minutes. In fact, we have an outing later this week and they asked if we can take this bread in our lunches instead of sandwiches. They've proclaimed they like this better than any of mom's other homemade breads (and I have three different recipes in rotation). The 8 year old even asked if we can add it to the family recipe book and give him a copy to start his own recipe book. I'd say that this is a DEFINITE winner! :)

By the way - miss your posting very much!!! I know you've been missing here for about a month and hope all is ok on your end and just busy rather than a problem. Thinking about you through bloggy-land....

Sarah said...

Just made this bread. Amazing! Love it and I can't stop eating it. I live at 9100 ft in Colorado and it turned out perfectly. Thank you.

jq said...

Thank you for this recipe! It has saved me a few times. I've made pizza rolls and filled braided bread and it always come out wonderful.

Anonymous said...

I love this recipe! I have tried many bread recipes and feel like half the time they come out, half the time they don't. This is terrific:) I also put olive oil on top of the bread instead of egg. I love it!

Alie said...

I just made this and it did not disappoint! It's the lightest, fluffiest french bread I've ever come across. I'm not ashamed to say I ate half of a loaf already! :)

Two things I changed: I didn't shape the loaves, I was lazy and just made them into large rounds. I also didn't use an egg wash, I just drizzled a teeny bit of olive oil on the tops. FANTASTIC!

John in Atlanta said...

I made this and it was fantastic. Only thing I did different was I divided the dough into two pieces and formed baguettes.

Any ideas on adapting this to a sourdough recipe? I'll try but I'm not very good at this kind of stuff.

Thanks again for sharing this,

John

Anonymous said...

Made this recipe and it failed....bread never really rose....never seemed to cook either....crunchy outside but dough like interior....tasted nice though...would say it was a failure.

Anonymous said...

I think you forgot the picture of what the dough was to look like after adding flour... great simple recipe. In the oven now!

Anonymous said...

Tried it and it was absolutely delicious!! This is my favorite homemade French bread recipe.

hutchess said...

ohhhh, the longing in my eyes is reminiscent of a child looking in a candy store window. O.O

Adrianne said...

Easy!! If I have extra time I let it rise a little longer than 20 minutes. I also often use organic coconut oil (does not make it taste like coconut) and I make them in all kinds of shapes or sometimes I just leave it in a ball! I substitute half the flour for wheat and it is still awesome! In fact, we always save one loaf for french toast and it is the best with this in wheat form!! Seriously. We make our own little garlic butter spread and smear (generously, of course) after slicing it while warm. Yum! Thank you for the recipe!

Sara said...

So yummy! Last minute today I decided we should have bread for dinner. I Googled Fast French Bread and your's was, I think, the first listed. It was easy and fast and so good. I'm glad for some of the suggestions in the comments as well.
Thanks for a great recipe!

Anonymous said...

I made this today. I have made a lot of bread in my life and I have to say, this recipe was easy. It has the most beautiful crisp crust and soft middle. Delicious. This recipe is a keeper!

Heather Novak said...

Excellent. I am a fan of Artisan bread in 5 minutes a day, but today...I do not have eh two hours. Friend and I will be making THIS! WHOO HOO!

Frank said...

I love this recipe! Great quick bread and you get 3 loaves out of it. i tweaked it a little to make cinnamon raisin bread. before rolling the dough up spread some butter and sprinkle with as much cinnamon sugar and raisins as you want. it can get messy so i put it in a med sized loaf pan, greased. delish!

Cheryl Williams said...

What did I do wrong?! The dough was way too wet to turn out and roll or work with at all so I put it in bread pans, did the rise @170°, etc. It came out scrumptious, a little dense but soft inner texture with crispy exterior :)

Mandy said...

Frank, that sounds absolutely fabulous! Love your twist on this recipe, we'll be trying it this week.

Cheryl, not sure why your dough was so sticky. What altitude are you at? Has your weather been super humid? Did you add some extra flour to help?

Kristina said...

I was curious if you think I could use this recipe to make bread bowls?

tim said...

This has become a staple in our home, i'm going to make a tweek to it tonight, fresh sliced garlic and parmesan. Hope it turns out well!

Mandy said...

I've never tried it but I don't see why not! Let me know if you try them and how they turn out. :)

Tim said...

Turned out great. I like a hearty garlic flavor so I also added a little garlic powder.

Heather Novak said...

Marvelous. Made this twice just kneading by hand...then got kitchen aid heavenly stand mixer for Christmas, great excuse to make it again. I use halfish whole wheat, still divine. Thank you,

J.R. Bell said...

I tried this recipe in a did not rise 1 thing I noticed at the bottom of the ingredients there is an egg. Does that egg in the bread dough or just the glazing. with all the good reviews it's probably me can you give me any tricks two of the Loaves of bread i put in the oven right away the other i left on the counter to lett rise for the 20 minutes it did not rise a bit. The to that I put in the oven at 175 for 20 minutes rose gust slitly come out looking like flat brad

Anonymous said...

I made this bread and followed it to a t. It didn't come out for me. It was still dough like in the center and when I baked it longer the outside was burnt and inside still dough like.

Anonymous said...

It turned out really well!!!!!! Although, i only would turn my oven to 350 right away next time, but i didnt let it burn and it turned out sooogood. I give this recipe five stars. Delicious.

Lavender and Lime (http://tandysinclair.com) said...

looks like a great recipe to try! I googled and got the following links Barefoot and Baking: No Fail French Bread and A Bountiful Kitchen: Diane's No Fail French Bread but I have not compared them to yours. Maybe that will help you?

Anonymous said...

I made this but put the yeast in the hot water instead of the warm water my accident. It made the bread not rise and it wa a little dense. Yet the flavor was still good and enjoyable enough :) next time I'll do it right.