Monday, December 5, 2011

Deb Raney's French Bread...oh yum!

I'm currently tucked away for a week of intense writing so I'll be a tad quieter this week than usual, but I'm still around and still reading. Just not commenting as much. But I wanted to share a bread recipe that Deb Raney shared with me recently. It's as heavenly to make as it is to eat.

I love making bread. It's an entire sensory experience. As Barney Fife used to say, "It's therapetic!" : )

Here's the recipe as I got it from Deb...

Deb Raney’s French Bread
1/4 cup sugar
2 rounded t. of salt
1/8 cup butter or magarine

Add:2 cups boiling water and let cool till lukewarm

Dissolve:2 envelopes yeast in 1/2 cup warm water and add 1 rounded t. sugar.

Combine all ingredients in large bowl (I use a Tupperware Thatsabowl) and work in 6 cups unbleached plain flour.
Let rise in bowl, punching down with a wooden spoon every 10 minutes for 5 times. 

Divide into 2 balls and let rest on floured countertop for 10 minutes. 

Shape into long French bread loaves and place on greased cookie sheets (You’ll probably have to use one cookie sheet for each loaf and place them diagonally. Or make 4 smaller loaves and bake two side-by-side on each pan.) With sharp knife, slice the dough diagonally 1/2 inch deep at 2-3 inch intervals.

Let rise on counter until double in bulk (about 20-30 minutes). Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees until crust is golden brown. Remove from pan immediately. (For extra crusty bread, brush with mixture of one beaten egg and 1 T. milk before baking. I rarely do this...we kind of like the softer top.)

Just before serving, slice bread, butter between every two pieces. (Use garlic butter if desired.) Wrap in foil and heat in 400 degree oven for 5-10 minutes. 

We like ours with jelly. On the outside chance that there is a CRUMB left after the first day, it makes dynamite toast or French toast.

Here's mine before I popped it into the oven...

And here's how it came out...

And Deb's right, it's fabulous for French Toast. I substituted a little wheat flour to mine (we're just that way) and it turned out wonderfully! Oh, and served with honey, all warm from the oven, this bread is to die for!

Hope you enjoy, and I'd love to know when you make it and how yours turns out.

Blessings on your week! 

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