French Bread (with honey butter)

Oui oui!  It’s my first foray into the art of bread making and went for it by making the French bread recipe from Emily Ansara Baines’s “The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook”, a gift from my dear friend and twin Scully (note:  she is not actually my twin).

The recipe calls for dousing the finished loaves in honey butter, so really, there was no going wrong with this bread.  It does take some work (and time), but the result is pretty satisfying.

French Bread

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Makes 2 loaves.

  • 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 package (or 5 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 tbsp cornmeal (i was out of it)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp honey

In the bowl of a stand mixer and the paddle attachment, combine 2 cups of the flour, the softened butter and the salt.  Slowly add the water to make a gross watery floury swamp.  Beat until it’s sort of blended.  Change to the dough hook and then start adding the flour.

Eventually you’ll get a ball of dough.

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Side note:  look at this awesome style I’m rocking with the winter socks and the non-slip clogs from school.  I nearly died in my flipflops with the water on the concrete floors earlier.  Hot.

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On a flour-dusted cutting board, knead the dough ball for 8-10 minutes.  Work those forearm muscles.

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Shape into a ball and put into a greased bowl.

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Cover and let it rest in a warm place until doubled.  1 hour-ish.

Punch the dough down and divide in half.

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Cover and let it rise again for 15 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 375 deg F.

Roll out into a rectangle and roll it up, long-side first and seal the edge with a little water.  Place on a baking sheet dusted with cornmeal (again, I skipped this because I was out of cornmeal) Use a sharp knife to cut diagonals into the top of the bread.

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In a small bowl, beat the egg and water until mixed.  Brush onto each loaf, then put them into the oven for 20 minutes.

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Take them out of the oven, brush with another coat of egg wash, and bake for another 20 minutes.

With 5 minutes left on the timer, melt the butter and honey together.

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Yum.

Take the bread out of the oven and brush it with the honey butter.

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Consume hot bread and be happy.

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