Tuesday, December 22, 2015

365 True Things: 268/Bread

Decades ago, when I was a bit of a hippie, I used to bake bread fairly frequently.

More recently, I invested in an automatic breadmaker, which makes fine bread, though I can't say I use it all that often.

Today, though, as we hit the day when gluten is again allowed in our diet, I decided to bake some bread the old-fashioned way. I searched for a recipe that doesn't involve dairy, since dairy isn't on the docket until Friday, and found one for French bread. Simple!

Meanwhile, David made a yummy sauce for pasta—yay pasta! Can't wait for dinner!

Here's the bread recipe. The first rise didn't take (I put it in a place that was a little too cool), so I warmed the oven a bit and let it rise in there. From then on, everything went perfectly.

French Bread

Prep time: 135 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 165 minutes
  • 2 cups warm water, 95 to 110° F
  • 2 1/4 tsp or 1 pkg (1/4 oz.) active dry yeast
  • 2 Tb sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 5 1/2 cups bread flour, about
  • 1 egg white
  • Sesame or poppy seeds
  1. In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, sugar, and salt. Stir until dissolved. Mix in flour, a little at a time, until a soft dough is formed. Turn dough onto floured board and knead for about 8 minutes. Put dough in greased bowl and flip over so the dough top is lightly greased. Cover with clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  2. Punch down dough. Give dough a quick 2-minute knead. Divide into 2 equal halves. Shape each half into a long loaf. Place loaves on a lightly greased baking sheet. Make about 5 diagonal slits, 3/4 inch deep, into the top of each loaf. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
  3. Preheat oven to 400° F. Brush loaves with egg white and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds. Bake at 400° for 5 minutes. Remove loaves from oven and use mister to spray the tops of the loaves with cold water. Turn oven down to 350° and bake for another 25 minutes or until done. Remove loaves from baking sheet and let cool on rack.


  1. Don't you just love the smell of baking bread?

  2. hope the bread and pasta were good! I had a bread machine ages ago....I wish I had one now.