Saturday, July 28, 2012

Pain Français

We're off for one last weekend in Paris.
I couldn't resist sharing with you
the recipe I love most and make most:
Pain Français.

If you are not a baker,
you are thinking,
Non, non, non!
Pain? Non!
Trop difficile!

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
That's it.

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.


Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend.You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page. For more information, see the welcome post.


  1. Sounds fabulous Debbie. I don't mind baking but have never made bread for some reason.

    1. I'd rather bake bread than do anything else in the kitchen. I think it's the combination of the feel of the dough and the smell of the bread cooking and the amazing taste of fresh bread.

  2. I am pretty much baking challenged but you make it seem so easy! Your loaf looks delicious. So nice fresh from the oven with melting butter.

    1. For some reason, we seem to think baking bread is one of the most difficult of cooking activities. I don't think that's true.

  3. it is the yeast! I have Yeast Fear!! ;-)

    1. Yeast Fear sounds like a terribly malady. Oh dear. I think it is completely curable, however, by trying to make this simple bread one time. :-)

  4. Your bread looks so good, I swear I can smell it.

    1. I do not doubt that the amazing smell of freshly baked bread can travel through the Net. :-)

  5. Yum, I love fresh baked French bread and yours look really delicious.

  6. You make it sound so easy and fun! It is obviously France week at Weekend Cooking - 2 for 2 on French posts so far! Your bread looks great, BTW.

  7. I love Peterson's books. I don't have the bread one, but I have a couple of others. I totally agree, bread is easy! I'll have to give your recipe a try once it gets cool enough to bake.

    1. I checked this out as a Kindle book from the library, but I like it so much that I am going to buy it for myself.

  8. Oh my do you make it sound easy!

  9. Well when you make it sound so easy.... Why does everyone think it is hard? Hope you are having a nice week. My Weekend Cooking contribution was a salmon pizza.

  10. I recently discovered using my stand mixer for making the bread dough. Wow, it turned out amazing. Am oking forward to cooler weather and perhaps making some raisin bread.

  11. I bake bread and give some of it away. People are always surprised at the simple ingredients. I also love making my own pizza dough. Your French loaf looks wonderful and crunchy! I should make some soon and then turn those slices into bruschetta!

    1. It has been a while since I've made my own pizza dough. Need to do that this week.

  12. Bread making has always seemed so difficult but this recipe looks so easy. I really need to give it a try.

  13. Too funny. I fear bread-baking! You are brave.

  14. I have never tried to make bread. It is a challenge that I think I might have to face one of these days.

  15. Goodness, I love bread. Slathered in butter, fresh from the oven... this sounds delicious!

  16. I love baking and bread. This sounds wonderful, especially covered in butter.


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