We're off for one last weekend in Paris.
I couldn't resist sharing with you
the recipe I love most and make most:
If you are not a baker,
you are thinking,
Non, non, non!
Shhh! Come here. Now I'm going to let you in on a secret:
Baking bread is the easiest thing you will ever do. Shhh!
Any book on baking will have great ideas to help you.
I used this book, Baking, by James Peterson.
Here's all it takes to make two wonderful loaves of French bread:
6 cups flour
.75 ounce active dry yeast
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups warm water
Just flour, yeast, salt, water.
What could be easier?
I stir some of the flour with some of the water and the yeast
and let it sit until it bubbles a little (an hour?)
Then I stir in more of the flour and water
and add the salt.
I knead it for about ten minutes.
It will feel smooth when it is just right.
I let it rise until it doubles,
punch it down, and knead it again.
After it has risen again,
I roll it out into long lovely loaves and
let it rise for a little on the baking pan.
Then I pop it into the oven at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
(Sometimes I slash the tops of the loaves
before I put it in the oven,
and sometimes I place a glass bowl of water on the bottom rung of the oven
to give the bread a beautiful crust.)
Then it is out of the oven
and I slice enough for our meal,
and add lots of butter.
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