The Art of French bread

22 Mar

The Art of French Bread!

french-bread

Making bread can seem a daunting task as it involves baking and exact proportions.   At least for me, I like to work in akitchen adding, screwing up, fixing, tasting… cooking as I please.  I enjoy having instant gratification as I watch and taste during the process.   With baking you put in the time and effort, just to find out 3 hours later the cake you had in mind didn’t turn out right and instead  it looks like something out of one of Dali’s dreams.

A cake of Dali's, "The Persistence of Memory."

A cake of Dali’s, “The Persistence of Memory.”

But we are in luck!  Here is a simple recipe for French bread that is hard to mess up and turns out great!  It only involves, ready…, 4 ingredients!!!   Water, flour, salt and yeast. And from start to finish about 3 hours (you’re only actually working for about 30 minutes).  You can follow the recipe by clicking on the link above.

The kneading is a bit more intense than you may think, especially towards the end when the dough finishes thickening.  Now I see why bakers have those Popeye forearms.popeye-arms

Dough before rising

Dough before rising

Dough after rising, about 2.5 hours later.

Dough after rising, about 2.5 hours later.

Before Baked

Before being baked

Baked with thyme and rosemary

Baked with thyme and rosemary

It yields 2 loaves.  If you want to dazzle it up, I sauteed some rosemary and thyme in olive oil and brushed the top of the loaves for the last 3 minutes of baking.  Actually there are many ways to customize your bread; dried tomatoes with cheddar cheese on top, toasted garlic bits, sea salt,  use your imagination!

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