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Sweet French Bread - can anyone help with a recipe?

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thepirategirl's picture
thepirategirl

Sweet French Bread - can anyone help with a recipe?

When I lived in Illinois, I used to be able to purchase Sweet French Bread at the grocery store. Now I live in North Carolina and it is nowhere to be found. I have tried, to no avail, to find a recipe for Sweet French Bread. I have seen it referred to but NEVER a recipe. (Maybe my Google skills are lacking.)


 


I am a VERY novice bread baker, but I am willing to tackle the recipe for some of this bread. I miss it! It made the most fabulous garlic bread.


 


 


Also love lurking around here....such great recipes and blogs.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, thepirategirl.


AFAIK, the "sweet" in this context just means "not sour," as in "sourdough." I would think any good recipe for "French Bread" would do the job. Usually, such recipes are meant for baguettes, but you can shape the dough as you please.


Hope this helps.


David

thepirategirl's picture
thepirategirl

There is a true taste difference, though. The sweet has a rather different taste. And the Sweet French Bread I bought was in the shape of baguettes, though they were often shorter and slightly smaller than "regular" French Bread. :) I have made before garlic bread out of both "regular" French Bread and Sweet French Bread (when they ran out and didn't had enough loaves of the Sweet French Bread), so I've definitely tasted them side by side. :)


Maybe I'm crazy. ;)

Chuck's picture
Chuck

Based on your description, I'd suspect that bakery "made up" the idea and the name on their own. In my experience such a thing is extremely uncommon, so I'm not surprised you can't find any recipes.


You can "tweak" any old standard Baguette recipe though. Just add some of your favorite sweetener (brown sugar? honey? white sugar?) to the dough. My guess is add about 5% of the weight of the flour (definitely not more than 10%). Mix it up with the flour before you add the dry mixture to what will become the dough.


The sugar will probably make the crust darker. This may be okay. But if it's not, try baking a little longer at a little lower temperature.


(According to lots of definitions, such a "sweetened" bread isn't "French bread" any more, so you may wish to either give it a new name or bake it in a totally different shape or both:-)

thepirategirl's picture
thepirategirl

I suppose it's possible, but it was sold by more than one grocery store. Also I've seen it offered as a bread option at restaurants in IL. There was one that offered sandwiches on it, another used it for garlic bread (an Italian chain, I forget their name).


I also know there is a company in California, Sacramento Bread Company, that offers a loaf of sliced Sweet French Bread. My brother is in school out there and he loves to taunt me that he can purchase it, and I cannot. I've almost thought about breaking down and ordering it from some place I found online (San Francisco Sourdough), which apparently "dominates" French Bread sales in the area. However, they sell it in loaf form and I'd prefer it in the baguette style I used to buy it in.


I had read on a webpage that it is the use of yeast instead of a sourdough starter (I assume), and that the bread is not so much sweet as it is not sour. I will say the baguettes I bought had never more than a golden color, they were not dark in any way. They would be suited to making a sandwich just as much as bread pudding (meaning they were not SWEET, you would not taste it and think "sweet" - if that makes sense). I would hate to try the recipe and it tastes off and not know whether it's simply not the recipe I wanted, or me screwing it up (which is likely, I'm sure).


 


EDIT:


I would post the websites I've seen, there is one that comes up habitually when I search Sweet French Bread, but I don't seem to be able to post links. Anti-spam perhaps?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

would be the way to go.  Use of diastatic malt or sprouted flours and/letting the dough autolyse for a long period of time before adding instant yeast would also have an effect.  One might also try using some spelt or kamut flour into the formula which seem to have less bitter taste than wheat and therefore more of a sweeter taste. 

Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

 


http://www.grouprecipes.com/40896/sweet-honey-french-bread.html


http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/sweet-honey-french-bread/Detail.aspx


They're really not that hard to find.   Also, you might try a pan dulce recipe, just leave the colored pastry topping off of it and form it into baguettes.


There is no reason you shouldn't go ahead and make these baguette shaped.   Call it "sweet french bread" if you want.  The world doesn't stop and freeze all things in place just because some people want it to.


 


 

thepirategirl's picture
thepirategirl

The sweet honey french bread recipe is not it. :) My Aunt made it in her bread machine for me when I was up there, and it is indeed SWEET. (Shocker, eh? :D)

Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

The two recipes are slightly different.  If it was too sweet, try cutting some of the sugar or honey out.  You're probably going to have to do one of two things to get what you want - either experiment, or get hired by one of the bakeries that makes it, LOL!

LindyD's picture
LindyD

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=roqWaYvum6Y


While it ends up looking like a cake, dough can be formed into any shape you wish.


I think the sliced bread you mentioned is Colombo's product.


There's no mention of ingredients at the website, but your brother can give you those as that info should appear on the plastic packaging.  

Chuck's picture
Chuck

I'd bet from your descriptions the same term "Sweet French Bread" is being used to label two different things in different parts of the country. Without the same person actually tasting all of them, it's hard to realize they're not really the same. (IMHO, an "odd term" like "sweet French bread" is particularly prone to this kind of abuse and confusion.)



  • One kind is "not sourdough" ("regular French bread" if you're not from San Francisco:-), as was opined by dmsnyder in the very first response above.

  • The other kind is "French bread plus sugar" [sic], which is what you tasted.


(Next time your brother taunts you, ask if he can get "regular French bread" and "sweet French bread" at the same place like you did [and neither is sourdough]. Then gently suggest that he should shaddup until he does:-)


To make the first, just use any recipe for French bread.


To make the second, use any old recipe for lean/French bread, except add sugar too.


 

thepirategirl's picture
thepirategirl

Thanks for all the input from everyone. :D


I guess I am going to have to do some experimenting with making the darn bread...I'm just terrified of wrecking it! :D (Will I get stoned if I admit to never having made yeast bread or the like? ;)

EvaB's picture
EvaB

baking a bread they want to recreate. No one will stone you, and everyone will encourage you. Just be prepared to list the recipe you used, the tweaks you made and pictures if possible when asking for opinions or help with the loaf.


Bread isn't that hard to make, even I a bread challanged person can make a loaf of bread that isn't totally terrible. (mind you some have been something to anchor a boat with)

Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

My first attempt at a baguette was hard as a bat, but about as thick around as a baton, LOL!


Even the dog wouldn't eat it!

EvaB's picture
EvaB

which was talking about a potato flake starter fed with potato flakes and sugar, and it came to me that it would be a sweeter sourdough bread than made with a regular starter, so was wondering if the bread you are speaking of, was made with a starter like the Herman or Potato or Amish Friendship breads. The Amish is very sweet, and for sweet breads, but the thread on the potato starter, had someone saying they used theirs for regular bread and liked it better than their sourdough starter.


Don't let the baton stop you from trying again, sounds to me like you over worked it, and it didn't raise well, but hey, you should have seen my first try at any bread, and my brother said he once made a whole grain loaf (many, many years ago) that the seagulls wouldn't even eat. Probably couldn't he said it was like a brick. And he made some of the best bread I ever ate.

EvaB's picture
EvaB

Read more about it at www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,161,147175-242201,00.html
Content Copyright © 2011 Cooks.com - All rights reserved. SOUR DOUGH STARTER: 1 pkg. dry yeast
1/2 c. warm water
3/4 c. sugar
3 tbsp. instant potato flakes
1 c. warm water
1 tsp. salt Mix yeast and 1/2 cup warm water well; set aside. Mix remaining 4 ingredients well, then add yeast and water solution. Let stand for 2 days in a warm place. Feed on the third day. FEEDING SOURDOUGH: 3/4 c. sugar
1 c. warm water
3 tbsp. potato flakes Mix well and add to starter. Let stand out of refrigerator all day or 8 to 12 hours. Solution does not rise, only bubbles. Use only 1 cup in making bread. Return remaining starter to refrigerator. Feed again in 3-5 days. If bread is not made after feeding, throw 1 cup of starter away or give to a friend. Starter must always be fed every 3-5 days, always keeping 1 cup. SOURDOUGH BREAD LOAVES: 1/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. corn oil
1 tsp. salt
1 c. sourdough starter
1 1/2 c. warm water
6 c. bread flour Mix flour, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl. Add oil and stir in the water and starter to make a stiff batter. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let stand overnight or double in size.

Next morning, punch down dough or just divide into 4 parts. Put into greased loaf pans and brush with oil or butter. Let rise all day or until double in size. Cover with plastic wrap. Dough will rise slowly. Bake 20 minutes or until brown at 350 degrees. Bake on bottom rack.

ssor's picture
ssor

If you mix some of the flour with some of the water and yeast the day before it will be a little different then it would be if you mixed it all the same day. Often the differences in bread are more about shape and only a little about proceedure. It is when you are trying to duplicate a particulate bread flovor and texture that it gets complicated. Start with something fairly simple and play with different shapes. And most important , have fun.