Connie is a long time Better Batter customer and one of our testers! This is her French bread recipe that she came up with while testing the Artisan Baker's Blend Flour. We are honored to be able to share it with the rest of you and hope you love it as much as we do at Better Batter!
3 1/2 Cups
(490 g) Better Batter Artisan Baker's Blend Flour
2 1/4 Cups
warm water (110F to 120F)
(56g) neutral oil
sugar or honey
( 1 1/2 package or 11g) Instant or Rapid Yeast
( 1 1/2 package or 11g)Active Dry Yeast (See note below)*
** If Using Active Dry Yeast **:
Into the warm water, add the active dry yeast and the sugar or honey. Allow 5 to 10 minutes for the yeast to bloom. Once it has bloomed, proceed with the recipe.
1. Into the bowl of a stand mixer, sift the Better Batter Flour. Add all of the remaining ingredients to the bowl.
2. Mix with the paddle attachment beginning on low to combine. Then, increase to high speed for 6-8 minutes until dough is cohesive and fluffy.
3. Remove dough from bowl and place on a board to bring dough together. Once dough is brought together, cover with plastic wrap and allow dough to hydrate/rest for 20 minutes.
4. After the 20 minute hydration/rest period, this dough should be pretty similar to regular bread dough. On a floured surface, knead the dough a few times, adding only enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to the surface or your hands. Do not use the heels of your hands as in standard kneading. Gently fold the dough in half, turn a quarter turn, then fold in half again.
5. Divide the dough in half down the middle - this is going to make two French bread loaves. Shape each one into a long loaf (about 15" long and 1 1/2" in diameter), with pointed ends. Place the loaves lightly on a French bread pan mold OR two greased baking sheets. Cover loaves with a wet dish towel, and allow to rise until doubled in size (about 30 to 45 minutes).
6. Preheat the oven to 450° Fahrenheit. If you are using a pizza stone or baking steel, preheat it for about 45 minutes before baking.
7. Remove dish towel from loaves and sprinkle loaves with flour. Make 4 diagonal slashes down each loaf with a lame, razor, or sharp knife. Place the tray of bread in the middle of the preheated oven. Put four ice cubes into the bottom of the oven to produce some steam.
8. Turn oven temperature down to 375°F.
9. After 6-7 minutes, put in four more ice cubes and bake for another 20-25 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and internal temperature is 210°F.
10. Once bread is finished baking, remove from oven and completely cool on a cooling rack for a minimum of 4 hours. Once completely cooled, slice and enjoy!