Perfect French Bread

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There’s nothing quite like the smell, and the taste, of freshly baked bread! Especially when you’ve been lucky enough to eat fresh French bread every day. So when I went home, mum and I were desperate to try out a cheeky new bread recipe, and boy is it good!

I wish we could claim credit for this recipe, but it’s a Paul Hollywood special (his Bread book really is amazing!).

You’ll need:

  • 250g strong white bread flour, plus a little extra for dusting
  • 5g salt
  • 5g dried yeast
  • 30ml olive oil
  • 180ml warm water
Put the flour, salt, yeast, olive oil and most of the water in a food mixer or Kitchen Aid with the dough hook attached. It’s super important not to let the yeast touch the salt until you’ve started mixing. 
Start on a slow speed and gradually add the rest of the water. It shouldn’t take much longer than 5 minutes. 
Put the dough into an oiled bowl for a couple of hours, cover it with cling film and a damp tea towel and leave it somewhere warm to prove. 
You should have yourself a nice big ball of dough!

Tip the dough out onto a floured or oiled surface and divide the dough into two.

Knock the dough back (read this article if you don’t know what this means), stretch it, fold it, and generally play around with it! Then make them both into baguette shapes.

Place them on a large baking sheet until they’ve doubled in size.

Heat a roasting dish and pour in a little water, then place this in the bottom of your oven. This will create steam which helps to form a nice crust on your bread. Preheat your oven to 220 degrees Celsius.

Slash the top of each baguette 3 times just before you bake them.

Bake them for half an hour and then turn the oven down to 200 degrees and bake for a further 10 minutes. They should be lovely, golden brown and smelling incredible!

I’d recommend serving it with a big bowl of butternut squash and red pepper soup!

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  • That bread looks delicious!! I'd definitely try making some of mine own, if I wasn't so terrified of accidentally burning down my kitchen in the process!!! 😉

    -Brooke ( http://www.thepinklyme.blogspot.com )

  • Haha I'm sure you wouldn't! X

  • steve.r hudson

    It sure was good, TDC is baking today, don't know what yet.

  • I do believe TDC is making chili for you – VERY jealous! X

  • WAIT she is baking sourdough with her new sourdough starter! Also very jealous! X

  • steve.r hudson

    She says it didn't rise properly, tastes good though. On a pedantic point should it be TDC when cooking and TDB when baking, or is that OTT?

  • Bet it tastes good though! SO jealous. 2 weeks till I can get a taste of it! haha a bit OTT!