Easy Homemade French Bread

Photo Credit: Your Home Based Mom

The long French loaf, known as baguette, is a familiar symbol of French cuisine and boulangerie lining the streets. Baguettes need not be designated to bakeries alone, however. This easy homemade French bread recipe will have you baking bread on a regular basis to accompany rustic homemade meals, like pasta, soups or stews. Traditional baguette recipes take a long time to make, but Leigh Anne, the developer of this bread, has simplified the process significantly so that it doesn’t take so long to prepare. For one thing, she uses commercial yeast, rather than a pre-fermented dough, which can take days to ferment. Today, baguettes will often be prepared with commercial yeast, but rustic artisan bread recipes usually rely on a biga, poolish or levain as a starter for their bread.

Biga, Poolish and old dough are known as the mother preferments of bread making, similar to how French cuisine has the five mother sauces that you can build other sauces. Each preferment contains yeast, flour, and water. The primary difference between these three bread starters is proportions of those ingredients and the types of bread they are used for. Biga is an Italian invention used for ciabatta recipes. The starter tends to be thicker than other starters. Poolish is a much stickier starter that emerged out of Vienna and is commonly used in French bread baking today. The old dough starter, or Pate Fermentee, is a dough that can continuously be replenished so that you can make the same bread every day. The reason this homemade bread is so easy is that it doesn’t rely on the technical aspects of producing any of these starters. Rather, once you mix your dough with the commercial yeast, it only requires twenty minutes until you can shape and bake your baguette recipe. Bread ingredients can vary between different loaves, but generally, all white bread loaves will use a mixture of flour, water, salt, and yeast. This easy baguette recipe includes some sugar for an underlying sweetness that rounds the flavor of the loaf out. Since this bread recipe doesn’t rely on a pre-ferment, adding something a little extra is necessary for the taste of the finished bread.

Leigh Anne includes a baking step that may seem surprising to you but is crucial to getting the signature crust you expect from any French bread. Any crusty bread recipe will call for a very high oven as well as a dish of water on the bottom oven rack to produce steam. The steam helps the crisp crust to form on the loaves which give texture and chew to the loaves. Sometimes bakers will even use a spray bottle to spray water into the oven very quickly for the same purpose. Leigh Anne’s French bread recipe will definitely give you the type of baguette you are used to. Thank you to Leigh Anne, the author of ‘Your Home Based Mom’ recipe blog, for sharing her easy homemade French bread recipe with us.

Nutrition Facts for: Easy Homemade French Bread from Your Home Based Mom
Ingredients: Dry active yeast, water, sugar, all purpose flour, sugar, salt, egg white.
* Percentages (%) are based on a 2000 calorie diet * The entire recipe has been calculated for 24 servings (2 loaves cut into 12 pieces each). * Per Serving:Calories 80, Calories from Fat 2, Total Fat 0.2g 0%, Saturated Fat 0.0g 0%, Cholesterol 0mg 0%, Sodium 2mg 0%, Potassium 30mg 1%, Carbohydrates 16.7g 6%, Dietary Fiber 0.6g 2%, Sugars 0.7g, Protein 2.4g, Vitamin A 0%, Vitamin C 0%, Calcium 0%, Iron 6%

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