Easy French Bread Recipe

I love to bake. I love everything French. Naturally this is one of my favorite recipes, and we make it almost weekly—Wallaby and I can eat half the loaf straight from the oven!

I used to always cook alone—The Grizzly Kid is not a fan of the kitchen—but lately Wallaby insists on being my helper. In fact, he often requests to help cook by going into the pantry and patting the flour bag, or pulling a chair from the table over to the counter. So I give him his own measuring spoon and a little bowl with some flour, water, sugar, to stir up on his own and then he’ll reach over and poke his spoon into the big bowl helping me to stir it up.

Wallaby baking

Wallaby baking

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It gets a little messy, but we have fun. Anyway, onto the recipe! I have been using this recipe for years, so I don’t remember where I got the basis of it, but I’ve changed it a little along the way. It results in a fluffy center and a chewy, crusty crust. It smells heavenly and tastes even better!

French Bread Recipe    

Ingredients:

1 cup warm water

1 Tbs sugar

1 ½ tsp yeast

2 ½ cups flour

1 tsp salt

 Directions:

-In a medium bowl dissolve sugar into warm water, add yeast and let sit for 10 minutes.

– Add remaining ingredients, knead well for a few minutes adding more flour if needed—the dough should not be sticky. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in warm place for 30 minutes.

– Place dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out into a rectangle. Roll up dough from the long side pushing out any air bubbles as you go. Once rolled into a log, tuck each end under, just enough to cover the appearance of the layers from rolling it up.

-Place on lightly buttered cookie sheet and make deep diagonal cuts into the loaf using a serrated knife. Let rise in warm place for 30-40 minutes.

-Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake for 15-20 minutes. A few minutes before it is done pull the bread out and lightly spread butter over the top and return to oven. Watch carefully as it finishes cooking as the butter will make it brown faster. Remove once golden brown and let cool in an open space to allow it to develop the chewy crust.

It’s that easy, and takes less time to rise and bake than traditional bread. Plus if it lasts to the next day it can turn into french toast, a sub, or a yummy BLT:

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I hope you’ll give it a try! It is 100% Wallaby approved.

Wallaby baking

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Shortbread and Jam Filled Cookies

I have been looking for an excuse to make my favorite shortbread cookies this holiday season, but with all the yummy goodies that have been brought to us I really couldn’t justify making another sweet temptation, so when The Grizzly Kid asked if I could make a treat for a work Christmas party I knew exactly what I would be making.

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These Shortbread Cookies are buttery, crisp, and as close to the cookies that come in the tins at Christmas time as I have found. I could eat them by the dozen. But I especially love making them with a cutout on the top cookie and filling them jam, because those little holiday cutouts filled with red jam are just so festive!

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However, even without the jam these cookies are delicious and I would love something like this Springerle rolling pin to make them even more special. If you give them a try you will be hooked, and you can’t beat how simple this recipe is.

Shortbread cookies