Think that your bread machine is limited to brick-shaped loaves? Think again. This recipe makes two long, narrow loaves. Cut in 1″ slices and toasted, this bread is perfect to float in French onion soup with melted cheese on top. Or to serve along a hearty beef stew with a smear of butter. Or to gussy up with butter and garlic and broiled to make homemade garlic bread.
This recipe is SO simple, and the reward is tasty. Enjoy!
What you need:
- 1 1/3 c. water
- 4 c. bread flour
- 1 t. salt
- 1 1/2 t. active dry yeast
- egg white, whisked with 1 T. water to make an egg wash
- bread machine
- baking sheet and parchment paper or silicone liner
- measuring cups and spoons
- rolling pin
- serrated knife
- pastry brush and small bowl
Time: 5 minutes to assemble, 2 1/2 hours mixing/rising/resting, 35 minutes baking
Serves: 20-32, depending on the thickness of the slices
Multiplying the recipe:
Each recipe should be mixed separately, as the risen dough nearly fills a 2-pound capacity bread machine bowl.
Bread Machine French Bread:
In a bread machine bowl with the mixer blade attached, add the water, flour, salt, and yeast in the order recommended by the machine’s manufacturer. Set the machine to the dough cycle and start it. The machine should mix the dough and take it through one rising cycle.
On a lightly floured surface, dump out the dough and deflate it gently. Cover it and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Use a bench scraper to divide the dough into two equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a rectangle, roughly 13″x9″. Starting at a long side, roll the dough into a log and pinch the ends to seal. Place the logs, seam-side down, on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or a silicone mat and then dusted with cornmeal.
Combine the egg white and water with a whisk. Brush some of the mixture on the loaves and then cover with a clean kitchen towel. Allow the loaves to rise until almost doubled in size, about 30-45 minutes.
While the bread is rising, preheat the oven to 375F. Using a serrated knife, make 3 or 4 slashes on the top of each loaf, about 1/4″ deep. Bake the loaves for 20 minutes. Brush with the egg white mixture and then bake for another 10-15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
To Make Garlic Bread with the loaves:
Set out 6 T. butter to soften. (Cutting it into cubes speeds this up.) Preheat the oven to 375F. With a bread knife, slice both loaves of bread in half the long way and place them on a baking sheet. Put the baking sheet in the oven for 8 minutes.
While the bread is in the oven, smash the butter with a fork and add 1 1/2 t. garlic powder and 1 t. garlic salt. (Feel free to add some Italian seasoning or basil as well.) Mix the butter and seasonings with a fork until well blended.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and spread the garlic butter over the cut surfaces with a table knife. Put the baking sheet back in the oven for 5-10 minutes.
To cut, place the cut sides of the bread together and grasp the loaf with a clean kitchen towel. Using a bread knife, slice the loaf into individual servings.
Garlic Bread recipe adapted from Honest Pretzels, by Mollie Katzen.