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Weeknight French Bread

What if I told you that your family could have hot, crusty french style bread in an hour and a half with no hand kneading, messy, floured surfaces, or long rising times? With this quick bread recipe, you can!

This delicious bread recipe saved me recently when my crock pot pork roast and green beans needed some yummy bread to round out a dinner with friends. I didn’t have time to let it rise and, while a bit dense, it was still delicious. When I made again and included the rising time, I was pleasantly surprised by what a difference 20 minutes made in texture!

I especially love this recipe, adapted from a recipe I found at Gourmet Mom on-the-Go, because the active prep time is very minimal, it’s made in one bowl, and no rolling pins or floured surfaces are required. Cook this one evening and enjoy it over a couple of dinners (if it can make it that long!) with butter and jam or a bit of honey.

To begin your bread, add 1 packet of yeast to lukewarm water. Stir until dissolved. Boil water (microwave works fine) while you complete the next few steps.  Add shortening, salt, and sugar to your stand mixer bowl and combine with a fork. Add hot water to mixer, then cold water, then your yeast mixture. Gradually add flour 1 cup at a time to the mixer, mixing on medium low using a dough hook.

Weeknight Bread Collage 1 ICMB

When dough begins to pull away from the mixer, you have the right amount of flour. Mix for 8 minutes on medium. Remove dough from paddle and let it rise for 20 minutes or a little longer if using bread flour. (If you are rushed for time, you can skip this step, but your dough will be much more dense).

Next, Preheat your oven to 170. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray or use parchment paper. Separate dough into 3 equal balls and place on cookie sheet. Let sit for about 5 minutes to make them less sticky for rolling out. Spray a surface (I like to flip over a cookie sheet) to spread out dough or use parchment paper. Push dough and flatten into a rectangle. Roll dough up into a cylinder. Fold dough up halfway from each side, press in a little, then flip onto original cookie sheet with seams down. Then Repeat steps 11 through 13 for remaining balls of dough. Cut three slits into the top of each loaf. Mix egg until frothy, then spread on top of each loaf.

Weeknight French Bread Collage 2 ICMB

Cook  your bread at 170 for 15 minutes. Turn the oven to 400, leaving the loaves in while heat increases. Bake for an additional 15 minutes. Loaves will begin to brown and become crusty at this point. Turn oven down to 350 and bake for 10 more minutes until cooked thoroughly in the middle.

Let cool or eat a hot slice! This bread is extra yummy the next day!

Here’s a step-by-step version of the recipe:

Week Night French Bread

Prep Time: 40 Minutes            Bake Time: 40 Minutes

Weeknight French Bread ICMBIngredients:

1 packet yeast

1/3 cup lukewarm water

1 Tablespoon shortening

1 Tablespoon salt

2 Tablespoons sugar

1 cup boiling water

1 cup cold water

5 to 6 cups all purpose flour or bread flour

1 egg

Instructions:

1. Add packet of yeast to lukewarm water. Stir until dissolved.

2. Boil water (microwave works fine)

3. Add shortening, salt, and sugar to your stand mixer bowl. Combine with a fork.

4. Add hot water to mixer.

5. Add cold water to mixer.

6. Add yeast mixture to mixer.

7. Gradually add flour 1 cup at a time to the mixer, mixing on medium low using a dough hook. When dough begins to pull away from the mixer, you have the right amount of flour.

8. Mix for 8 minutes on medium.

9. Remove dough from paddle. Let dough rise for 20 minutes or a little longer if using bread flour. (If you are rushed for time, you can skip this step, but your dough will be much more dense).

10. Preheat oven to 170.

11. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray or use parchment paper. Separate dough into 3 equal balls and place on cookie sheet. Let sit for about 5 minutes to make them less sticky for rolling out.

12. Spray a surface (I like to flip over a cookie sheet) to spread out dough or use parchment paper. Push dough and flatten into a rectangle.

13. Roll dough up into a cylinder.

14. Fold dough up halfway from each side, press in a little, then flip onto original cookie sheet with seams down.

15. Repeat steps 11 through 13 for remaining balls of dough.

16. Cut three slits into the top of each loaf. Mix egg until frothy, then spread on top of each loaf.

17. Cook at 170 for 15 minutes.

18. Turn the oven to 400, leaving the loaves in while heat increases. Bake for an additional 15 minutes. Loaves will begin to brown and become crusty at this point.

19. Turn oven down to 350 and bake for 10 more minutes until cooked thoroughly in the middle.

20. Let cool or eat a hot slice!

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2 Responses to Weeknight French Bread

  1. Sara Meehan January 13, 2014 at 8:44 am #

    This looks SO good. I’m definitely going to try out this recipe one night this week!!

  2. Lana January 14, 2014 at 10:19 pm #

    Looks awesome!

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