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a crusty bread machine french bread


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Prep Time: 180 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total: 215 minutes

Servings: 12


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Step 1

Place all of the dough ingredients 1 c water (227 gr), 1½ t. sugar (8 gr), 1½ t. salt, 1½ t. butter (8 gr) 3 c unbleached bread flour (360 gr), 1 t instant yeast (3 gr) into a bread machine pan in the order listed. Select the DOUGH cycle and press START.

Step 2

Check the dough at least twice during the mixing and kneading phase by lifting the lid to take a peek. The first time, look immediately after the machine starts mixing to ensure the paddles are engaged correctly. Look again 15 minutes into the DOUGH cycle to assess the consistency of the dough. For most recipes, the dough should stick to the side, then pull away cleanly.If your dough is too wet, add flour one tablespoon at a time.Conversely, if the dough is too dry, add one tablespoon of liquid at a time until the dough looks just right. Read more about this surprising secret to success with a bread machine here.

Step 3

When the DOUGH cycle completes, if the dough has doubled in size, go to the next step. If the dough has not doubled in size, leave it in the machine until it doubles before proceeding.

Step 4

Remove the dough from the pan onto a lightly-floured surface. Push the dough down with your palms to remove the bubbles. Shape into a loose ball. Cover and allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes.

Step 5

Roll the dough into an oval shape slightly longer than you want your final loaf to be (about 9 x 12 inches is what I do.)

Step 6

Starting from a long side, roll into a cylinder shape. Pinch seam together. Pinch ends together. Pull ends to reach seams and pinch together with the seam making a small rounded shape on each end. (This is difficult to describe. See the picture above or watch the video if you are confused.)

Step 7

Flip the loaf over and carefully place it onto a greased baking sheet or one covered with a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rise in a warm place until almost double.

Step 8

Preheat oven to 425˚F.

Step 9

Whisk 1 egg white and 1 t water together for the glaze. Brush it over loaf.

Step 10

Using a sharp knife, (I use a serrated knife) or a single-edge razor blade, cut diagonal slashes about 2 inches apart and 1/2 inch deep across the top of the loaf.

Step 11

Bake loaf for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350˚F and bake another 5-10 minutes until golden brown. Bread should reach 190˚F in the middle when cooked through.

Step 12

Remove to a cooling rack or slice and eat immediately.

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