French Bread (Breadmaker Version)



French bread traditionally has a crisp crust and light chewy crumb.   Use special french bread setting on your bread machine to help achieve this unique texture.

Large: Makes 3-4 Loaves

  • 500ml / 17.5fl oz / 2 1/8th Cups Water
  • 675g / 1 1/2 lbs / 6 cups unbleached white bread flour
  • 10ml / 2 tsp salt
  • 10ml / 2 tsp easy-blend dried yeast
  1. Add the water to the bread machine pan.   If the instructions for your machine specify that the yeast is to be placed in the pan first, reverse the order in which you add the liquid and the dry ingredients.
  2. Sprinkle over the flour, to cover the water.   Ass the salt in a corner.   Make an indent in the centre of the flour and add the yeast.   Use the french bread dough setting (see cooks tip). Press Start.
  3. when the dough cycle has finished remove the dough from the machine, place it on a lightly floured surface and knock it back (punch it down).   Divide it into 3 or 4 equal portions.
  4. On a floured surface shape each piece of dough into a ball, then roll out to a rectangle measuring 18-20 x 7.5cm / 7-8 x 3 inches.   Fold one third up lengthways and one third down, then press.   Repeat twice more, leaving the dough to rest between foldings to avoid tearing.
  5. gently roll and stretch each piece to a 28-33cm / 11-13inch load, depending on whether you aim to make smaller or larger loaves.   Place each loaf in a floured banneton or between the folds of a floured and pleated dishtowel, so that the french bread shape is maintained during rising.
  6. Cover with oiled clear film (plastic wrap) leave in a warm place for 30-45 mins.   Preheat the oven to 230 degrees C /  450 degrees F / Gas Mark 8.
  7. Roll the loaves onto a baking sheet, spacing them well apart.   Slash the tops several times with a knife.   Place at the top of the oven.   Spray the inside of the oven with water and bake for 15-20 mins or until golden.   Transfer to a wire rack to cool.


Use the french bread baking setting if you do not have a french bread dough setting.   Remove the dough before the final rising stage and shape as directed.

The above recipe is extracted from my fav bread book :

BREAD “A complete guide to making your own bread in a traditional oven and using a bread machine” – ISBN-13: 978-0-7548-1788-8 & ISBN-10: 0-7548-1788-1


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