The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My french bread with tons of pics!

MandyMakesBread's picture

My french bread with tons of pics!

Step one - Make a poolish from small amount of yeast, flour and warm water (part of packet, 1/2 flour, 1/2 cup warm water).  Let sit until it looks like this below.  (10 minutes or more if you want).

Step 2 - Mix in dry ingredients ( 3 1/2 cups flour (1/2 cup in poolish), 1tbsp salt, 1tsp sugar, rest of the yeast packet.  Stir it up.

Step 3 - Add warm water 1 cup (1/2 cup is in poolish).

Step 4 - Add in your poolish 

Step 5 - Stir until dough forms

Step 6- Knead on floured surface for about 5 mins until smooth.

Step 7 - Wash bowl in hot water while letting dough rest 

Step 8 - Knead a couple mins more and put baby dough ball in warmed bowl

Step 9 - Cover and let rise until doubled in size ( i put mine in the oven cause it's warm) mine takes about 1 1/2 hours.

Step 10 - Beautifully risen dough ball. Take out and knead a few mins.

Step 11 - Cut the dough in half. 

Step 12 - Knead each for just a min or so.

Step 13 - Form and pinch and shape loaves.

Step 14 - Score loaves 

Step 15 - Scored loaves before 2nd rise. 

Step 16 - After rise (another 1 to 1 1/2 hours)  

Step 17 - Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  Get about a 1/2 cup of water and place by oven.  Put the loaves into oven.  Immediately grab that water and toss it into the bottom of oven. This will make steam and get that nice brown crust.  BE CAREFUL with this step for obvious reasons. Cook 10 mins and put more water on oven floor.  Cook another 25 mins.  (Total cook time for me is 35 mins).  You gotta play with what works for you.

Step 18 - Cool your lovely loaves!

Step 19 - CHOW DOWN!!

My shaping is bad, but MAN I Love the taste of this yummy bread!! So does the hubby and child.  


This was fun!




Janknitz's picture

looks so happy!  ;o)

OldWoodenSpoon's picture

I love the coloring you achieved on the crust.  I was surprised that you slashed the loaves before the final proof though.  Or did I misunderstand?

Very nice!

MandyMakesBread's picture

You didn't misunderstand.  I thought that was how it was done, LOL.  I saw someone do that on a video and just thought that's what you do.  What is the difference I wonder?  Let me know what you think.