November 16, 2010

flakes are falling! just feet away from me, outside my favorite window. funny how little specks of white can feel like such a miracle. i could sit and watch them for hours. snow has to be one of God's prettiest works, don't you think?! the saturday snow has almost completely melted away. so this fresh batch of flakes is more than welcome! 

anyway. i hope you are enjoying your afternoon as much as i am. and are you thinking about what to have for dinner? tonight would be oh so perfect for hot soup and fresh bread. of course, we had that last night. which is why i only have half of a loaf to show you right now. but if you want to make it happen tonight, i need to let you in on this bread. i honestly can't believe my blog has gotten this far without this recipe. it's grant's favorite. another masterpiece from his mom's breadmaking repertoire, maybe even the crowning jewel. it is the most basic thing you'll ever lay eyes on, and its simplicity is what makes it so flawless. 

this is the kind of bread that will empower you. the bread that you should start with if you do not make bread. the bread that i started with. the bread that is painless and pretty. the bread that you could impress someone with. the bread that you could feed your husband when you want to say thank you for waking up so wicked early everyday to coach those future basketball players. i love you madly! or whatever your husband needs to hear from you today.

and wait till you smell it.

french bread
by mom judy

2 1/2 cups warm water (poke your finger in and if it feels almost room temp, it's good)
1 tablespoon yeast
2 teaspoons salt
6 cups unbleached flour (add 1/2 to 1 cup more, if needed)
olive oil and coarse salt for top

* i always cut this recipe in half for just the two of us, and it still makes two small baguettes or 1 decent-sized boule (a round loaf). this time i tried 2 cups of unbleached flour and 1 cup of white whole wheat and i really liked it! 

1. mix water and yeast in your mixer bowl and let sit for 10 minutes. 
2. add 3 cups of the flour. add the salt. mix with dough hook for a minute, then add remaining 3 cups of flour and continue mixing. add another 1/2 cup of flour if it's too sticky, but keep in mind that a slightly wetter dough will make a soft, light loaf. 
3. when dough pulls away from the sides of the mixer bowl, it's ready to be put into an oiled bowl. cover with a towel and let raise for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
4. after the first rising time, punch down and form into 2 long loaves, 2 round loaves, or 3 or 4 skinny long loaves for baguettes. cut diagonal lines across the top and cover with a towel. let raise 45 minutes or so, or until doubled in size. 
5. while bread is rising, preheat oven to 400 degrees. before baking, brush loaves lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

perfect with butter. cheese. peanut butter. for garlic bread. croutons. or day-old french toast. 

in other news. today marks the one year anniversary of getting into this sweet old house! you can read what i wrote at lunchtime, my last meal in apartment 2560, and before i went to bed in my new house


Christina said... I'm glad I had to rearrange this week's menu since I have a great-looking new bread recipe to go with the minestrone soup that was supposed to be last night's dinner. : )

Elsa said...

I just want to second every bit of praise for this recipe. I once had a Frenchman tell me that it was the best bread he'd ever had outside of France.

ashley maureen said...

oh my, this is definitely getting printed. i hope i have a chance to bake it this weekend!

Misplaced Country Girl said...

I will be making this over the weekend! I just love all of your recipes and get so excited when you post a new one. It's always such a special treat for me.

Amanda said...

I am definitely making this soon. I can't imagine how good it'll taste with some homemade beef and barley soup.

Nichole said...

summer, i made your french bread recipe, tonight. thank you for sharing! i love your simplicity of cooking real food.

just one question, my dough sprawled out, per say, instead of rising. it created a flat like bread, about 1 inch thick. normal? your loaf looks a bit thicker. my dough was very sticky - i used about 3 cups and 2 T of flour (i halved the recipe). how long do your knead your bread in the mixer and how sticky is your dough? i am super excited to try this, again, with your tips.

thank you, summer!!

ps. i have made bread before, but am not a poor by any means.



about this blog

Hello, I'm Summer. A people-loving introvert whose hope and life is in Jesus. His promises are my passion and my ministry is homelife. This blog is a place for me to write about everyday things. Especially food. My favorite thing to do is sit around a table, lingering over a long meal with good conversation. I live with my husband and our 2 littles. We like blizzards, thrifting, grammar, guacamole, cheerful hearts, nice manners, good movies, and making simple, real, nutrient-dense food.

"If Christ be anything, He must be everything."
-C.H. Spurgeon

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