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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Farmhouse French Bread

I made Farmhouse French bread before but didn't blog it because when blogging bread, after a while, they look the same. The first time I made it, I made it the night before, baked it the next day and had fresh and warm bread at a picnic.

Today, I was in the mood for crusty bread with cheese so decided to make a crusty bread like this one today. However I started late so had to eat something else for lunch since the bread wouldn't finish in time for lunch.

I got the recipe from Wooden Spoon Bread. It's a pretty good recipe book for bread. The only problem is it lacks pictures and diagrams, especially for breads that have special shapes and I'm not familiar with.

To start, we soften the yeast with warm water. I used slow rise yeast with all my bread baking. I like slow rise because if I'm busy and accidentally let it rise too long, it won't ruin the bread. Plus slow rising yeast rise slowly so bread is more flavourful.

Then I added salt and sugar and 2 cups flour and mixed.

After it's mixed. Let it sit for 15 minutes to rise.

It will look like this.

Then add 2-3 cups of flour. Most bread recipes at this point don't give exact amount of flour because it depends on the flour quality (if it's new or old flour) or if it's a humid day, it will use more/less flour. Actually regular bread makers weigh their bread and professionals calculate using ratios. Anyways in my case I used 2 1/4 cup flour to reach stage when dough no longer stick to sides of bowl.

Hand knead dough and form a ball.

Grease bowl and let it rise for 1hr. It will look like this.

Take the risen dough and split in half to form 2 loaves.

Since I'm making boules (round loaves), I usually use colander as my bowl to keep it circular. Then I used a cotton tea table and flour to prevent dough from sticking. I learned this from a potter who also bakes. She has classes which are quite good. It's what made me interested in artisan bread. Her website is

Put your dough and cover. Let it rise again for 1hr.

Here's a picture of my two loaves rising.

While waiting, I had a yummy snack. It was local Brie on figs. I microwaved it to melt the cheese. Yummy!!

The cheese is local from Little Qualicum. It was very good. Creamy. Flavourful. I love cheese, especially soft cheese like Brie and camembert.

Anyways, back to bread. After 1 hr, the bread is ready to bake. Of course the oven and cloche had already been heated. I decided to use the cloche to make the crust crustier.

I scored the bread. It didn't score well because my knife wasn't sharp enough. I need to buy a razor to score my breads better. Wonder where I can get that? Anyone knows?

Here's one of the loaves. It looked nice that after 10 minutes of cooling, I broke a piece and started eating.

Here's a picture of my two loaves.

So, here's my supper. I had fresh bread, provolone and salami.

Then it made me feel like having a Shandi with supper. I didn't have lemon bitters or carbonated lemon drink, I used Coke instead. Shandi is a drink that mixes half beer and half carbonated drink.

It was a great meal!!

Final Thoughts:

I really enjoy this bread. It has a nice crust and is soft in the middle. It's a very nice and easy bread to make.

The taste is really good because you can eat it just with cheese and enjoy the taste and texture. I've made this twice and both times it worked out really well!!

While I was making bread, I also was busy making a fascinator. I'll blog my fascinator in my next post.
- using BlogPress from my iPhone

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