Tuesday, May 11, 2010

French Bread

With a bread machine on hand, this loaf of French bread couldn't be any more perfect. 
Unbelievably soft on the inside.
Perfectly crisp on the outside. 
You can't beat it.  

For large (1 1/2 pound) loaf
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp water
2 tsp margarine or butter, softened
3 1/4 cups flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 tsp regular active or bread machine or quick acting yeast 

Spray inside of bread machine pan with non-stick spray. Add ingredients in the order listed--creating a well in the flour to add sugar, salt, and yeast. Place pan in machine and select "dough" cycle. 
When cycle is complete turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Form into a 15x5 inch rectangle (or two small rectangles). Roll up along the longest length of the dough, pinching after each roll. Place dough log on a large baking sheet. Make 3-4 shallow diagonal slits in the dough. Cover with a light cloth and let rise 30-60 minutes, or until double. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes or until loaf is lightly browned and sounds hollow when tapped. 

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