I’m a fan of the bread maker. Ever since my parents bought one and brought it into our home ages upon ages ago, I loved the idea of fresh made bread at home. Plus, using the bread maker eliminated the nitty gritty details from the bread making process (i.e. sitting around and waiting for the bloody yeast to rise and pounding the dough just so).
But then, I started getting a little bored.
Despite the bread being tasty, it still wasn’t tasty. The making bread at home thing never lasted long enough to see a recipe perfected. That, and, once I started using a bread maker at home myself, I wasn’t the biggest fan of how big the loaves were. Each slice of bread was as big as my head and that, I definitely was not feeling. I like big sandwiches as much as the next guy, but that was just too awkard.
Recently, I began to hum and haw over the whole yeast business of bread making. I began wondering if it really was that much of a bother to bake things that required having to wait for yeast to activate and rise in dark, warm areas. I had attempted a recipe for french bread, utilizing the bread maker to make my dough and the loaves just didn’t turn out the way I had hoped and/or was promised in the recipe. Never mind that the recipe called for kneading the dough by hand and all of that fun business. I decided to forgo that part and attempt bread maker experiment number one. Clearly, the bread maker failed.
I then experimented with multiple batches of cinnamon buns and had a go with a couple of loaves of french bread. My experiments resulted in delicious samplings of sweet, sweet heaven wrapped in cinnamon and french loaves that were so quick and easy, all I need to do now is finesse my method enough to never have to worry about buying store baked bread again.
Up for a yeasty experiment of your own? Give this 30 (give or take) minute french bread recipe a shot. It’ll help you to feel as though you accomplished something in your day.
Quick & Easy Baguette
from Babble’s The Family Kitchen
- 2 cups very warm water
- 1 packet yeast
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3-4 cups flour
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees, as you whisk together the warm water, yeast and sugar in a large bowl. Allow your yeast to activate for 10 minutes. If your oven emits heat, leave the bowl sitting on top of the stove. If your oven is like mine and feels frigid along its exterior (thumbs up insulation!), just make sure you don’t do something silly like put your yeast in the fridge where you’ll successfully kill millions and millions of little yeast men and women.
After ten minutes, stir in the salt and add flour one half-cup at a time. Add flour until the dough becomes soft but not sticky, followed by kneading the dough until it’s elastic.
Cut the dough into four even pieces and roll each piece into a long, thin rope. Twist together two ropes to form one loaf and transfer both loaves onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
You can either bake the loaf right away if you’re in a hurry or allow it to rise for an additional 15-30 minutes. The original recipe tells you to allow the loaf to continue rising on top of your warm oven. Frankly, I knew I was going to allow my dough to rise the 30 minutes ahead of time, and so, never preheated my oven to 425 at all. Instead, I preheated my oven to about 200 and then shut it off, somewhere in the dough kneading process. I use the remaining heat in the oven to help my loaves rise during this time. It’s the only way I can do it around here, since my oven doesn’t warm the whole stove top and we keep our home relatively cool – cool enough to prevent a good rise out of our dough.
When you’re ready, put the loaves in your 425 degree oven. To prevent the loaves from drying out during the baking process, cover a cookie sheet with ice and place it on the rack below your loaves. Shut the oven door and do not open it again until you’re pulling the loaves out of the oven – approximately 15-18 minutes later or until they’re golden brown.
I over did with mine, accidentally. I put the loaves in the oven and went upstairs to play video games (it was for my YouTube channel! Not mindless pleasure!) and left the loaves baking for 20 minutes. Oops.
They were still really soft and tasted great. They were just a lot more golden than they were supposed to be.
Then again, we could say that their being more golden only made them that much more valuable.
Am I right? Am I right?
Okay. Lame joke. Whatever.Leave a comment