Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Almost French Bread

This recipe makes rolls that taste a lot like French Bread but just misses the mark in my opinion. It's still a great recipe though, especially since I've made it twice since early last week. If you have a spray bottle of water and can spray them in the oven every few minutes I think you may be able to achieve a nice crisp crust. I keep forgetting to buy an extra spray bottle so mine we crusty for all of 10 minutes out of the oven. Then they were soft and delicious. We actually used them for hamburger buns for dinner and they were great that way so I might make them like that again. Or I might get crazy and make the rolls a little more flat on my muffin top pan and see if I can make better hamburger rolls out of them. Add some fresh garlic? or finely diced onion? Yum...

Almost French Bread

1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups bread flour

1. Stir together the water, yeast, and sugar in a large bowl and let sit about 10 minutes, or until it is creamy.
2. Add the oil, salt, and 2 cups of the flour to the yeast mixture in the large bowl. Stir in the other 2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough comes together and begins to come away from the sides of the bowl. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is smooth and elastic, about 7-8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl and place the down in the bowl, turning to coat it completely. Cover the bowl with a cloth and let it rise until doubled, about 1 hour. 
3. Punch down the dough and place it on a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 16 equal portions, then form into balls. Place the rolls on cookie sheets (lightly greased if not using a Silpat or parchment) about 2 inches apart. Cover the rolls and let rise for about 40 minutes, or until doubled. While the rolls are rising preheat the oven to 400F.
4. Bake the rolls for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

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