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Houston, TX
Just your atypical hispanic male living in the big city

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Making some French Bread

Who doesn't like to have great, fresh bread with their meal? I know I do. I never would grew up making fresh bread (or had bread period) with my meals. Again, being from a Mexican American household, we would normally have tortillas (either corn or flour...fresh) and possibly corn bread. I didn't learn how to make bread until I moved away to Houston. I always entertained family and friends with fresh made bread (this was ALWAYS gone...never a leftover).

For this recipe, I am making it according to a bread maker that we were given by my sister V. She has been great with always getting us stuff for the kitchen. I can always count on my family in getting me some great tools for my cooking efforts.


1 package rapid rise yeast
1 cup warm water
3/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cup all purpose flour

If you want to be ambitious, you can do the following....

In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast and salt. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour a little at a time until the dough is stiff and ready to knead. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic for about a good 5 minutes. Place the dough on a greased bowl and cover it. Let this rise until it has doubled (after about 30 minutes). Keep in mind, we are in a region that is below sea level, so it might take longer or less time for the dough to rise.  Form dough into a French-style loaves and place onto a greased baking sheet (i like to grease with butter). Some people may like to use a little cornmeal, but its all per what a person is used to.

You are going to set the oven at 375 degrees, but at the same time place the bread in the unpreheated oven. I find that the bread will rise as the oven is heating up. Allow to bake for about 30 - 45 minutes. Again, its all up to the area you are living in. I find that where I live it might be about 45 minutes. The higher the elevation, the more time it might take and vice versa. All depends.

But if you are like me, you might want to decide to work with the breadmaker:

Follow the directions per your breadmaker machine. Normally, you place the water first into the breadmaker.

Mix the flour and salt. Add the flour to the machine. Once the flour is placed, add the yeast on top. Again, I am following what my bread machine requires.

I know its the easy way out, but the bread machine does a great job with kneading the dough. I don't like to lift the lid to the bread machine especially if you want the dough to rise. I am just lifting this in order

Allow the bread to rest for a good 15 minutes before cutting. I personally, enjoy it with a pat of butter, but you can have this with many other dishes. I also like to use this with the Bourbon Bread Pudding. So, you are going to need to make AT LEAST 3 to 4 loaves for the bread pudding recipe.

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