French bread loaf
A recipe from the Good Food collection.
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- 2¼ -2½ cups unbleached plain flour
- ¼ cup unbleached wholemeal flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 7 g sachet dried yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 egg white
- 1 tablespoon water, extra
1. Brush a large, long baking tray or a bread stick pan with melted butter or oil. Sift 2¼ cups of the plain flour together with the wholemeal flour and salt into a large bowl, and then make a well in the centre of the flour. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and add to flour. Using a wooden spoon, mix the dough into a rough, slightly sticky ball.
2. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Incorporate some of the remaining flour, if necessary. Place dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl and brush surface of dough with oil. Cover and set aside in a warm place for 1 hour or until the dough is well risen.
3. Punch down dough and knead for 1 minute. Flatten or roll dough into a 45 cm × 18 cm rectangle. Roll up firmly into a long sausage shape. Taper ends, and then place the dough diagonally on prepared tray, or in a bread stick pan. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place for about 40 minutes or until the dough is well risen.
4. Preheat oven to 210°C (Gas 190°C). Pour 2 cups of hot water into a shallow baking dish and place on bottom of oven (this helps to make a crisp crust). Brush loaf with combined lightly beaten egg white and water. Slash loaf diagonally with a sharp knife or razor at regular intervals about 5 cm apart. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 180°C. Quickly brush loaf again with glaze, and bake for a further 15 minutes or until cooked. Remove from tray or pan and cool on a wire rack. Serve with soft cheeses, such as Camembert or Brie or just plain with butter. Delicious also served as an accompaniment to salads, soups and pasta dishes.