There are a lot of great smells that can come out of kitchens - and some pretty awful ones too if we’re being honest. But, in the world of amazing kitchen smells, one of the most beloved is the scent of homemade bread baking. Unfortunately, a lot of people miss out on the baked-at-home bread smell because they foolishly think that all homemade bread is:
- Impossible to get to turn out halfway decent
- So damn time-consuming
- Only for “bakers” - at-home chefs, then, need not waste their time
And, while there definitely are some pretty complicated and time-consuming bread recipes out there in the world, there are also some insanely easy recipes - and they turn out perfectly nearly every single time.
Case in point: Our new favorite bakery-style French bread recipe.
Not only does this bread give you the perfect crispy crust you crave, but the light and fluffy inside is just begging to be buttered (or to sop up all of that spaghetti sauce on your plate). And the recipe is seriously simple. You could even enlist the help of your kids (or that person you live with who never ever steps into the kitchen except to use the microwave or grab a beer out of the fridge) and it would still turn out great.
Yep, we’re that confident.
Want to give it a go? Chances are, you already have everything you need at home as far as ingredients go. (Phew.) If there’s one recipe that will make you change your mind about making homemade bread, it’s this one.
So break out the bread knives for dinner tonight and get going!
Bakery-Style French Bread
2 tablespoons yeast
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups hot water
3 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup oil
6 1/2 cups flour
1 egg, beat for brushing on bread
Dissolve the yeast in a small bowl using the 1/2 cup of warm water. Allow this to stand (proof) for 10 minutes before using. While your yeast proofs, use another mixing bowl to combine your hot water, sugar, salt, oil and 3 cups of the flour.
When the yeast mixture has finished proofing, add it into the mixing bowl with the flour mixture.
Working in batches, add the remaining flour (3 1/2 cups) to the mixing bowl. After each batch of flour is added, mix it in completely. Your dough is ready when it starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
Let your dough sit for 10 minutes.
Flour your work surface and then separate your dough into 3 equal pieces. Roll each of the pieces into a 9”x12” rectangle and then roll it into a thick cylinder. You’re making 3 loaves of bread, so these cylinders will become your loaves. (Smooth out the edges on each loaf to make it look nice.)
Grease a baking pan and transfer your loaves so that the seam is down. Take your (super awesome Schmidt Bros.) knife and make diagonal cuts (about 4) in each loaf. Then, use your beaten egg and brush on top for that nice crust.
Let the dough rise for about 40 minutes before baking in a preheated oven (375 degrees F) for about 20 minutes, or until the crust gets perfectly golden.