Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Easy, Peasy Rapid Rise French Bread

Easy Peasy Rapid Rise French Bread
I've decided I'm going to start making my own bread.  With all the negative media about what's REALLY showing up in store bought bread (even some of the healthy brands), you can't deny that there's nothing better than the taste (and smell) of fresh, home made bread.  Now, we can add SAFETY and HEALTH to that!

After reading this article:  http://foodbabe.com/2014/02/24/healthiest-bread-on-the-market/  I took her advice to heart.  I embarked on a couple of journeys, and this is the best recipe for me to share with all my fellow foodies!  Don't worry health nuts...I'm working on a gluten-free recipe as we speak!

Easy Peasy Rapid Rise French Bread

Prep Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes (includes rest time) / Cook Time: 25 minutes / Servings: 2 loaves

Easy Peasy Rapid Rise French Bread:
Served here with rosemary, olive oil,
and balsamic vinegar
  • 4 1/2 cups bread flour (I used Gold Medal "Better for Bread" flour), plus more for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups water, heated to 130 degrees
  • 2 packages (.25 oz. each) Rapid Rise Highly Active Yeast (I used Fleischmann's)
  • 1 egg white
  • olive oil cooking spray
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 
  2. Spray two loaf pans with olive oil cooking spray.
  3. Using a stand mixer with the dough hook, add 4 cups flour, salt and yeast to the mixing bowl.  Mix on level two and stir in the hot water.  Once combined,  add the last 1/2 cup of flour.  Keep the dough mixing on level two, until it no longer sticks to the sides, about 4-5 minutes.
  4. Remove the dough from the bowl and dust a flat surface with flour.  Knead the dough until smooth, about 8 minutes.  
  5. Cover the dough and allow it to sit in a warm, dry place for about 10 minutes.
  6. Cut the dough in half, flatten each loaf out and roll it up tightly, tucking the ends over to the seam side.  Place each loaf seam side down into the loaf pans.
  7. Cover each loaf and let them rise in a warm, dry place until they've doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  8. Using a sharp knife, cut a small slit down the center of each loaf.
  9. Brush each loaf with the egg white and bake in the oven, uncovered for about 25 minutes, until tops are golden brown.  Internal bread temperature should be about 190 degrees.
  10. Remove from heat, allow to cool for 5 minutes.  Run a butter knife around the edges if necessary to release it from the loaf pan.  Cool on a wire rack until ready to serve.
Easy, Peasy Rapid Rise French Bread:
Served here with natural peanut butter
and honey

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