Anyways, the other day though I felt very lazy I finally decided to suck it up and start on making some french bread. This recipe takes SO long but it turned out so well every time I've made it that it's so worthwhile in the end.
BAGUETTE/FRENCH STICK from Ultimate Bread
by Eric Treuille & Ursula Ferrigno
2 1/2 tsp dry yeast ( I used instant yeast)
1 2/3 C water
3 1/2 C flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
Since I used instant yeast, I did not use the sponge method *. Instead I mixed the yeast in with the flour and salt in a bowl and added 1 C warm water. Stir with a wooden spoon and add more water by the tablespoon if more water is needed, until a soft dough is formed. I find the easiest once I have added a fair amount of water to just pour the dough (while it isn't all thoroughly wet) onto the counter and knead it by hand. It is much more efficient and helps me by preventing the addition of too much water.
Knead for 10 minutes until smooth and put dough into a big lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rise for 1 1/2 hours.
Punch down, cover and let rise for 45 minutes.
Punch down again, cover and let rise another 45 minutes.
Divide the dough into 2 and shape into baguettes. I made mine fatter since I wanted more of a sandwich type bread for Brandon. Cover and let rise for 50 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F and slash the top of the bread a few times before popping into the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Emm....carbs.