The Husband asked me to make some bread awhile back to go with a soup he was fixing for dinner that evening. Uh, no. That was my initial reaction. It was already late afternoon and I definitely didn't have a few hours (nor desire!) to devote to some bread. His response? To send me a few recipes for "quick breads". I was skeptical but decided to give this recipe from Thirty Handmade Days a try.
Unless I had made this, I wouldn't believe how easy this was - not to mention how wonderful. It's hard to beat homemade, fresh from the oven bread. This bread was soft, but at the same time had just enough chewiness - exactly what you expect with a loaf of French bread.
This will definitely become my go-to quick bread recipe. In fact, I'll be making this tonight to go with another of the Husband's soups :).
A few notes:
- Whenever a bread/dough recipe calls for kneading, I almost always use my dough hook to do the kneading for me. It does the job perfectly for this recipe.
- Don't skip the egg wash. It does a wonderful job of browning up the crust.
- If you want to make just one medium sized loaf, just half the recipe (minus the egg wash - for obvious reasons).
Quick French Bread
1/4 C warm water
2 1/2 tsp dry active yeast
1 tsp sugar
3 1/2 – 4 C flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 C plus 2 Tbsp warm water
1 egg white and 1 Tbsp water
If you want to make two smaller loaves, divide dough in half.
Flour a surface and roll out the dough with a rolling pin. Then roll up the dough jelly roll style and turn ends under and place seam side down onto a greased cookie sheet.
Cut 3 diagonal cuts into the loaf about 1/4 inch deep.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Boil a pan of water. Pour water into a shallow dish and place on the lower rack in oven. TURN OFF OVEN.
Place sheet with bread on the rack above the water. Let rise until double and then take out the pan of water.
Turn oven onto 425 degrees and bake 10 minutes. Turn heat down to 375 and bake for 8 more minutes or until golden brown.