2 cups water heated so it feels warm but not uncomfortably hot
1 package or 2 to 3 teaspoons yeast
a little bit of sugar or flour to proof the yeast
1 TABLESPOON of salt after yeast has begun proofing
5 to 6 cups flour (I like King Arthur Bread Flour best) or however much the dough will take until it stops being sticky

Put in a greased bowl, turn over, cover, and let rise about an hour. Punch down, kneed, and shape into two long loaves. Place on a cookie sheet generously sprinkled with cornmeal. Make slices about half an inch deep crosswise along the loaves so they won’t break their own cracks. Cover and let rise again at least an hour. Place in an oven preheated to 400 degrees and bake for 35 minutes.

For a crispy crust, brush with egg before baking. For a softer crust, brush with butter when you take it out of the oven.

You can use about half whole wheat flour, and it will still work. But it won’t be (fake) French bread anymore.

Oh, by the way, this bread is terrible the next day (though, you can toast it fine and it makes lovely French toast).

8 responses to “(Fake) French Bread Recipe”

  1. Nathan Avatar

    What if you brush it with eggs AND butter?

  2. Jonah Avatar

    You could do that, but it wouldn’t be crispy anymore.

  3. nana Avatar

    “Italian Feather Bread” from Beard?

  4. Jonah Avatar

    No, it’s Beard’s fake French bread recipe. Italian feather bread isn’t very good.

  5. Doraine Avatar

    So why is it fake?

  6. stephanie Avatar

    Thanks! I’m about to make some!

  7. Jonah Avatar

    It’s fake because real French bread is made according to the regulations set forth by the French government. It involves stone ovens, pans of water, no sugar, and other things I don’t remember off hand. To make a more authentic loaf, put a pan of water in the oven on the rack below the one with the bread pan. (It doesn’t make enough of a difference for me to go through the trouble.)

    I added the fact that this bread is wonderful fresh but is terrible the next day.

  8. Berck Avatar

    I’ll point that “stops being sticky” is relative. Bread is better if it’s just a bit sticky, so don’t dry it out.

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