A few weeks ago my mom told me about some french bread she had tasted at a baby shower. She explained that her good friend Katie (mother of twins!) had made it for the shower and that I needed to try making it because it was so good. I recently got the recipe and made it yesterday for this week’s One Good Loaf.
My mom wasn’t lying—the bread was superb. The recipe makes 2 large loaves that turn a beautiful golden brown in the oven. The bread itself is soft, moist, and dense without being too heavy. I made the bread while Mr. Fuji was out getting the battery in my car replaced for me (such a sweet hubby), and when he came home it was in the oven and the house smelled incredible. This is a recipe I would make just for the smell alone. Wow. I really wish I could bottle that scent—Eau de Pain de Katie (“Katie’s Bread Perfume”). Though maybe that would be a bad idea because I’d probably get high off of sniffing it all the time and nothing would ever get done.
Even Squirrel, who prefers rice and noodles to bread, was asking, “Can I has a piece a bwead?” yesterday afternoon. Squirrel liked her piece plain.
Mr. Fuji liked his with a bit of butter on it. I ate mine with butter and schmear of peach preserves that I happened to have in the refrigerator from Miss Lolly.
There’s just something about good homemade bread that tastes like love, don’tchya think?
Katie Kinser’s French Bread
Makes 2 large loaves
1 1/2 tablespoons or 2 packets (1/4 oz./7 g each) dry active yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 cups hot water
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup oil
5 — 6 cups all-purpose flour
1. Dissolve yeast, warm water, and 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar in a small bowl.
2. In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine hot water, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, salt, and oil. Add 3 cups of flour to the mixture in the large bowl/mixer and mix well. Stir in yeast mixture.
3. Add 2 — 3 cups more flour and mix until well blended. (At this point your dough will still be quite sticky). Leave in bowl and let rise for 1 hour, mixing a few strokes a couple of times during the hour.
4. Divide dough into 2 (or 3 if you want smaller loaves) pieces. Roll out each piece on a floured surface into the length desired then roll up length wise like a jelly roll.
5. Put on a greased cookie sheet, sealed side down, and tuck the ends under. Slash the top diagonally across the top every couple of inches with a sharp knife. Brush with egg white. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Let loaves rise 30 more minutes.
6. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes.