Michelle Palmer’s 90 Minute Loaf Bread American Style
Now that the season has changed to fall and the weather is changing to cooler nights more home cooks are baking. There is a warm fuzzy feeling that most get when they walk into a bakery, store, or home, and the waft of fresh baked bread hits their nose.
When I was a baker for Safeway 40 years (all scratch back then) ago we would start the breads early into the shift so that when the doors opened the smell would permeate the air into the noses of the first morning shoppers.
The shape of the bread has a lot to say about what type of bread the eyes were seeing after the smelling. Most when you say “French Bread” knows what it looks like in American grocery stores.
However it is a long, thin crusty loaf that is typically referred to as a “baguette,” which directly translates into “a stick.” The Baguette may be the most popular type of bread in France — it is eaten throughout almost every province in the country — but it is certainly not the only kind made. Consumers also can speak a generic language, seeking “French bread” when they mean “baguette,” or “Italian bread” when they mean a Sicilian-style loaf. French bread is typically made from wheat flour, water, yeast and salt. By law in France, the long loaves and boules (round loaves) cannot have added oil or fat.
90 Minute Loaf Bread American Style
2 liquid cup measured water 110 degrees (warm to touch on your wrist if you do not have a thermometer
2 ½ teaspoons Sugar
1 tablespoon Dry Active Yeast
5-6 cups All Purpose Flour (720 grams)
2 ½ teaspoons Sea Salt
1 teaspoon Olive Oil
Preheat oven 400 degrees
In a mixing bowl, stir warm water and sugar, and sprinkle yeast across service of sugar water. Let rest until foam is formed about 5 minutes.
Whisk 2 cups of all-purpose flour mixed with salt.
Add flour salt mixture to foamed yeast sugar water and stir using dough hook or wooden spoon.
Now add ½ cup at a time (60 Grams) of remaining all-purpose flour, until the dough is smooth and not sticky; forming a ball. (or Kneading by hand)
Rub the olive oil on the formed dough ball in bowl
Cover with kitchen towel and rest for 15 minutes
Turn dough onto floured surface and divide in half.
Roll each half into a rectangle one at a time. Starting from the long side, roll the dough into a cylinder. (Long loaf)
Place each loaf on lightly floured sheet pan 4 inches apart with seam side down and ends turned down and pinched.
Let rise for 30-45 minutes.
Using a very sharp knife of razor blade make three diagonal cuts across the top of each loaf.
Bake in 400 degree preheated oven 17-20 minutes until golden brown inside temperature should be 190 degrees
Brush top with melted butter or olive oil. Enjoy!
Michelle Palmer is owner of Absolutely Michelle’s Chef-for-Hire that will come to your home to give personal cooking class or maximum group of 6 cooking class or dinner parties of 8 max.
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