This crusty French bread is tender inside and crunchy crusty on the outside for the perfect delicious bread you will want to eat all the time.
When Craig and I lived in Italy, there was a baker who sold the best bread out of the back of his station wagon every day. Every day around 5 pm we were eating fresh baked bread. I miss that wonderful, delightful taste bud pleasure. But now with this crusty French bread I can enjoy my own loaves of fresh baked bread that remind me of our time in Italy.
Just like the fresh bread in Italy, this crusty French bread is soft and pull apart tender on the inside with the perfect crunchy crust on the outside. Every bite will fill your mouth with the deliciousness fresh baked bread is all about.
The recipe makes three nice sized small loaves of crusty French bread. One to tear apart and devour immediately after baking, a second to serve with dinner, and a third to share with your neighbor.
Can french bread dough be frozen?
You can easily wrap a loaf and freeze before or after baking. If you are to freeze or refrigerate before baking – don’t let the dough rise again after forming into a loaf. Double wrap it in plastic wrap and then wrap again in foil.
Label it with directions and then freeze or refrigerate. The dough should stay good for 2-3 days in the fridge, and for 2 to 3 months in the freezer.
When you are ready to bake the bread, remove it from freezer, remove the wrapping, and place it on a greased and corn- mealed pan, thaw it completely, then let it rise for 30 minutes while your oven is preheating. Follow the directions for baking as you did before.
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Crusty French Bread
Crusty French Bread
- 1 envelope dry yeast
- 2 cups warm water* (very warm to the touch)
- 2 TBS white sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 TBS olive oil
- 5 cups white flour
- 1 egg white
- 1 TBS cold water
- cornmeal (for dusting the pans before baking)
- additional flour for dusting as needed
- additional oil for greasing bowl and pan as needed
Crusty French Bread
- In a large bowl, add your warm water. Sprinkle the yeast into the water. Stir until the yeast dissolves. **
- Stir in the sugar, salt, and oil
- Add 3 cups of flour and mix until fully incorporated
- Adding 1 cup at a time, beat (if use a mixer) the rest of the flour in. ***
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured flat surface and knead for about 5 minutes - the dough will be smooth and elastic feeling
- Place the dough into a lightly oil coated bowl and cover with a cloth
- In a warm place, let the dough rise until double about 45 to 60 minutes, punch down - deflating the dough
- Recover and let rise for another 30 minutes until double in size again
- Knead and punch down again on a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into 3 equal pieces
- Using a rolling pin, roll each piece into approximately 8x10 rectangle
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease 1 large baking sheet, sprinkle with cornmeal
- Roll each rectangle up jelly roll style, pinching the ends under and the bottom together
- Place each roll on the large baking sheet, making sure sides do not touch
- Cover and let rise for an additional 30 minutes while oven is preheating
- In hot oven, place another 2 inch deep pan (cake pan) filled with hot water on the bottom rack****
- With a sharp knife make 3 to 4 diagonal slashes across the top of your bread
- In a small bowl, whisk together the egg white and water
- With a pastry brush, brush egg white wash over the top of each loaf of bread
- Bake in hot oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until the crust is golden and bread sounds hollow when tapped
- Remove from oven and cool on wire rack
Enjoy every tender morsel of this crusty French bread, it will make your mouth happy. Serve plain, with honey, with jam, or with butter.