Sunday, November 7, 2010

French Bread

I did not get the big holes that were talked about in the recipe. I am not quite sure what I am doing wrong. It tasted great the texture was simply not right. Oh well. I will just have to try again.


3 C Pate Fermentee (recipe below)
1 1/4 C Unbleached All Purpose Flour
1 1/4 C Unbleached Bread Flour
3/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Yeast
3/4 + 2 T Warm Water

1. Remove the pate fermentee from the fridge 1 hour before making the dough. Cut it into 10 small pieces and cover with a towel or plastic wrap and allow to rest and warm for about 1 hour.

2. Stir together th dry ingredients and the pate fermentee. Add the water and stir until everything comes together and makes a coarse ball. Adjust the flour or water so that the dough is neither too sticky nor too stiff, it is better to be a little sticky. Sprinkle flour on the counter, transfer the dough tot he counter and begin to knead for about 10 minutes or until the dough is soft, pliable, tacky and all ingredients are evenly distributed. The dough should pass the windowpane test. Lightly oil a large bowl and place the dough in, spray lightly with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

3. Ferment at room temp for 2 hours or until the dough doubles in size. If the dough doubles in size before 2 hours, knead it lightly to degas and let it rise again, covered until it doubles from the original size. Gently remove from the bowl and transfer to a lightly floured counter. Cut the dough into 3 equal pieces. Be gentle with the dough. Form the pieces into baguettes by gently pulling to the desired length and folding in half and sealing the edges against the counter to create surface tension. Place gently on parchment  and allow to rise uncovered for about 45-75 minutes.

4. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees, place a baking stone on the bottom third of the oven and place an empty cookie sheet on the top rack of the oven. Score the baguettes. Gently transfer the loaves to the hot baking stone. Pour  1 cup of hot water into the cookie sheet and close the door. After 30 seconds mist the sides of the oven. Repeat twice more at 30 second intervals. After the final spray, lower the oven to 450 degrees and bake for 10 minutes. Rotate the loaves and bake for an additional 10-20 minutes  or until the loaves are golden brown and register at least 205 degrees in the center of the loaves. Cool for about 40 minutes before slicing or serving.

Pate Fermentee

1 1/8 C Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/8 C Unbleached Bread Flour
3/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Yeast3/4 C + 2 T water, room temp

Stir together the dry ingredients. Add the water until everything comes together and makes a coarse ball. Sprinkle some flour on the counter and knead for 4-6 minutes or until the dough is soft and pliable and a little tacky. Lightly oil a bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and ferment at room temperature for 1 hour. Remove the dough from the bowl, knead it lightly return it to the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in the fridge and refrigerate overnight.


Don't worry, I'm still baking... just not posting. I hope people are actually reading and trying these recipes. They are really fantastic and most of them don't take as much time as you would think. This recipe however does take time, but it is fantastic. Just be prepared to share because it makes A LOT of bread.


5 C unbleached bread flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp yeast
6 T olive oil
2 C water, room temp
1/4-1/2 C Herb Oil

1. Stir together the dry ingredients. Add the oil and water and mix with a large METAL spoon until all the ingredients form a wet sticky ball. (It will be very wet and sticky. Avoid the desire to add more flour at all costs!) Mix with a metal spoon for 3-5 minutes until the dough is smooth and the ingredients are evenly distributed. Alternately, if you want to use a mixer mix for 5-7 minutes on medium speed using the dough hook. Sprinkle enough flour on the counter to make a bed about 6 inches square. Transfer the dough to the counter and dust it liberally with flour and pat it into a rectangle. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.

2. Coat you hands with flour and stretch the dough from each end to twice its size. Fold it in thirds letter style, over itself, to return it to a rectangle. Mist the dough with spray oil, dust with flour, cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes. Stretch the dough again, following all steps. Let it rest for 30 minutes and repeat one more time.

3. Allow the dough to ferment for 1 hour on the counter. Line a cookie sheet with parchment, put down about 1/4 C of olive oil (being sure to spread to the corners of the pan) and carefully lift the dough onto the cookie sheet. Spoon about 1/2 of the herb oil over the top of the dough. Using your fingertips dimple the dough and spread it to fill the pan. Use only your fingertips so you do not tear or rip the dough. Try to keep the thickness as uniform as possible. If it starts to shrink back, let it rest for about 15 minutes then continue dimpling. Use more herb oil as necessary to be sure that the entire surface is coated with oil.

4. Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Remove the pan for the fridge at least 3 hours before baking. Drizzle any additional herb oil over the dough and dimple it in. The dough should fill the pan completely, cover with plastic wrap and proof the dough at room temp for about 3 hours. Preheat the oven to 500 with the rack in the middle.

5. Place the pan in the oven and lower the temperature to 450. Bake for 10 minutes and rotate the pan 180 degrees and bake for 10-15 minutes. The internal temp of the dough should register about 200 degrees. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately transfer the focaccia out of the pan onto a cooling rack. If the parchment is stuck on the bottom carefully remove it by peeling it off. Let it rest for about 20 minutes before serving.

Herb Oil - Sam's Version

1 C Olive Oil
1/4 C Herbes de Provence (an herb mixture including lavendar. I purchased mine at costco)
1 T Dried Minced Onion
1 tsp Pepper
1 T Kosher salt
5 fresh Garlic Cloves, pressed

Warm the oil to about 100 degrees add all of the ingredients and remove from the heat. Allow the herbs to steep for at least 30 minutes. Be sure to only include some of the herbs on your focaccia. If you'd like you can strain it before using. It will store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.