French Country Bread Recipe
A simple European-style country bread. Just enough whole wheat to give it some flavor but not so much that it's heavy.
For a crusty artisan-style bread, start with a sponge, or 'poolish,' and let the flavors build during a long slow fermentation process.
I made this because the overnight starter appealed to me. I like the more fermented flavor it gives to a loaf. I didn't have any whole wheat flour, so I used a combo of bread and all purpose. Based on other reviewers having to add more flour, I decided to decrease the water in the main dough to 1 cup and I added a tsp of honey. I still had to use an additional 1/2 cup of flour. The bread was wonderful and the flavor was certainly better than ones I've tried without the overnight starter. It rose beautifully, had a light, soft crumb and a nice crust. If I had used whole wheat flour, I probably would have added a Tbsp of molassas to deepen the color and add another layer of flavor to it. Good bread. I'll make this again. Thanks Stephen.
This was not just delicious, but very forgiving. I mixed it in the bread machine, realizing halfway through that I'd mismeasured some ingredients, so I stopped it, fixed the ingredients, then mixed. I put it in a bowl to rise. I made loaves, but my daughter child-handled a bunch of the dough and made tiny rolls and "bread worms". I then forgot to set the timer on the oven. It all turned out wonderful - my husband said it was "outstanding". It was much softer than I expected - I was expecting more of a crusty, holey French bread, but I'll make this again and again. YUM!
Very easy to make. The starter method does give additional lift and flavor. I added 1 Tablespoon of honey because my kids are fussy, it doesn't really affect the flavor. Great as toast!
For a family-friendly project that takes little effort, try Chef John's no-knead country that produces a perfect texture every time.
A crisp, crunchy crust and slightly chewy center make this bread as traditional as the breads served in France.
This recipe will give you two loaves of plain, sweet white bread that are quick and easy to make.
This is a light, honey-sweetened loaf from your bread machine with a crispy crust and tender crumb.