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French Bread {Easy Yummy Healthy Way}

Homemade French Bread Using Limited Ingredients

by Shirley
French Bread Recipe {Easy Yummy Healthy Way}

Homemade French Bread using extremely limited ingredients of all-purpose flour, active dry yeast, sugar, salt, and water is so refreshingly tasty. It is super easy too with an active time of merely under 30 minutes. The catch is that making a starter plus completing two-stage proofing simply takes time, but is perfect for multitasking while waiting.

French Bread Recipe {Easy Yummy Healthy Way}

How to make French Bread easy, yummy, and healthy?

Tip No.s is always dissolving the active dry yeast in water first

I use active dry yeast for all my bread and bun needs. They work out perfectly. The key to maximizing the active dry yeast power is to dissolve and mix active dry yeast powder in room temperature water into a smooth paste first thing first before adding it to the flour. Never add the powder into the flour directly.

Dry Active Yeast and water smooth paste

Tip No.2 is to make a starter for the French Bread and rest for about 2 hours

The starter initially looks like a batter. Cover it with a thick damp kitchen towel and rest for about 2 hours, or till it turns into a sponge.

French Bread Starter in the bowl

Tip No.3 is to make a super thick batter using the starter and proof for 30 minutes or so

Combine the starter with additional ingredients (active dry yeast plus water to form a paste, all-purpose flour, sugar, and salt) and mix well, using a silicone spatula. Gradually add water to blend in until you have a very sticky dough. Cover it with a damp kitchen towel and let it rest for about 30 minutes.

Proof dough for bread making

Tip No.4 is to add additional flour to form a sticky dough and use a slap and fold method to make the dough smooth

Add additional flour and knead to combine and blend. The dough may appear very sticky at this point, but don’t worry. We are going to use a slap and fold method to knead the dough to make it smooth and soft in minutes.

Hold the dough in one hand and then slap it against a hard surface such as the kitchen granite countertop. Fold the dough together and repeat the slapping. As you continue to do so, you will notice the dough further stretches out and becomes cohesive, smooth, and soft.

slap the dough against hard surface for making bread

Tip No.5 is to fold the dough and go through the second proofing

This recipe makes 2 long French Bread. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions. For each portion, use your hands to knead into a long cylinder shape, similar length to the baguette pan, and then fold into halves. Use both hands to hold each end and then twist while stretching to extend it back to the baguette pan length.

Place it onto the baguette pan and let it rest in an enclosed environment such as the microwave, for about 2 hours or till the dough doubles its size.

how to fold French Bread easy way

Last but not least is to bake French Bread

Preheat the oven to 375 F degrees and place the baguette pan on the middle rack and bake for about 30 minutes. If preferred, use a knife to score the top of the bread right before putting it into the oven. The way I fold the bread doesn’t necessarily need scoring.

Enjoy a naturally yummy and refreshingly tasty French Bread!

French Bread Recipe {Easy Yummy Healthy Way}
French Bread Recipe {Easy Yummy Healthy Way}

French Bread Recipe {Easy Yummy and Healthy Way}

Yield: 16 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours 20 minutes

Homemade French Bread using extremely limited ingredients of all-purpose flour, active dry yeast, sugar, salt, and water is so refreshingly tasty. It is super easy too with active time is merely under 20 minutes.

Ingredients

For Starter:

  • 180 g all-purpose flour, unbleached organic preferred
  • 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 230 g water, room temperature

For Phase I Proofing:

  • 390 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp cane sugar, organic unrefined preferred
  • 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 180 g water, approximate, see notes

For Phase II Proofing:

  • 135 g all-purpose flour

Instructions

Prepare the Starter:

  • Gather ingredients under "For Starter". Measure and place the flour in a large mixing bowl. Measure the water in a 2-cup glass measuring cup. Add the active dry yeast powder to a small bowl along with about 1/2 cup of water from the measuring cup. Mix well until the active dry yeast is fully dissolved and blended into a smooth paste.
    dissolve active dry yeast in water for making bread or buns
  • Add the yeast paste to the mixing bowl and the rest of the water. Mix well then cover it with a damp kitchen towel and rest for 2 hours, or till it turns into a sponge.
    French Bread Starter in the bowl

Phase I Proofing:

  • Gather additional ingredients under "For Phase I Proofing". Measure out the water in the 2-cup measuring cup. Add 1 tsp active dry yeast to the small bowl. Use the same process as before to form a smooth paste.
  • Add the flour into the starter mixing bowl, as well as the yeast paste, sugar, and salt.
  • Cover it with the damp kitchen towel and rest for about 30 minutes.
    making French Bread dough

Phase II Proofing:

  • Measure out 135 g of all-purpose flour and add it to the mixing bowl.
    Proof dough for bread making
  • Use the silicone spatula first and then hands to knead the dough and blend it into a somewhat sticky dough.
    bread dough in the mixing bowl
  • Slap and Fold the Dough - Hold the dough in one hand and then slap it against a hard surface such as the kitchen granite countertop with full force. Then fold the dough together and do it again. As you repeat the actions, you will notice the dough further stretches out and becomes cohesive, smooth, inflated, and soft.
    slap the dough against hard surface for making bread
  • Now you are ready to fold the dough and go through the Phase II proofing. This recipe makes two long French Bread. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions. For each portion use your hands to knead into a long cylinder, similar length to the baguette pan, and then fold it into halves.
    fold French Bread step 1
  • Use both hands to hold each end and then twist while stretching to extend it back to the baguette pan length. Place it onto the baguette plan.
    French Bread dough ready for Phase II proofing
  • Place the baguette pan in an enclosed area, such as the microwave, for about 2 hours or till the bread doubles its size.
    French Bread after Phase II proofing

Bake French Bread:

  • Turn the oven to "bake" and set the temperature to 375 F. Place the baguette pan in the middle rack and bake for 30 minutes. Score the top of the bread if preferred right before adding to the oven.
    French Bread Recipe {Easy Yummy Healthy Way}
  • Enjoy a super light and refreshingly tasty French Bread.

Notes

  • Tip on how to store active dry yeast powder - I usually buy a 1 lb active dry yeast powder and store it in a glass jar in the freezer.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 165Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 99mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 5g

Nutrition calculation is provided by Nutritionix to the best knowledge per ingredients description and isn't always accurate.

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