French Bread is long loaf of bread that is soft from inside but has a hard crust.
This recipe is from the book Cakes and Bakes.
Preparation Time : 1-1.30 hour
Cooking time : 41-50 minutes
Servings : 4
Refined flour (maida)
Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Mix yeast with one cup and two tablespoons of lukewarm water in a big bowl and stir until well dissolved. Gradually beat in half the flour to form a batter.
Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for about three hours or until the dough triples in volume and starts to collapse. Add the remaining flour, a little at a time, beating with your hand.
Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for eight to ten minutes to form a moist dough.
Place in an oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth and set it in warm place for about an hour to rise. When the dough has almost doubled in volume, knock back and turn out onto a floured surface. Roll into a disc.
Fold the two sides of the top half inwards in the shape of a triangle and further keep rolling in the triangle till you reach the other end of the disc to form an oblong shaped loaf.
Give slits on the surface and set aside covered with a damp cloth to rise further.
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Place the loaf on a baking tray. Spray water over the loaf and bake in the preheated oven for forty to fifty minutes.
Keep spraying water from time to time. This will help the crust to harden. When done, remove, cool on a wire rack and slice only when completely cooled and required.
It is a popular accompaniment with continental food.