French Bread Times Two

I’ve been watching way too many movies while recouping from a back injury. Several of them have had a French theme like French Kiss, The Last Time I Saw Paris, Addicted to Love, An American in Paris, Funny Face, The Last Tango in Paris… well you get the idea. And it seems like about any movie outside the “shoot em’ ups and car chase” movies there is someone walking along the street or returning home from the market with a loaf of french bread sticking out of a bag. It always looks so tasty. Of course I wonder why they bought a loaf of bread without any covering (paper or plastic) and that it was probably going to be somewhat stale before they ate it, but oh well, just my brain on oven fumes.  

I just had to stop watching the movies long enough to try my culinary talents at making a loaf or two. A taste test resulted in a “thumbs up” at least from me. I haven’t shared it with anyone yet….

This recipe only takes two hours, start to finish and uses ordinary ingredients that most people have in their pantry. And if you divide the dough makes 2 nice sized loaves of bread. 

French Bread

2 loaves

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  • • ¼ cup warm water
  • • 1 pkg dry active yeast
  • • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • • 1 teaspoon salt
  • • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water
  • • 1 egg white and 1 tablespoon water


  1. Combine 1/4 cup water, yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in a bowl.
  2. Allow to stand for 5 minutes until yeast is bubbly.
  3. Add in 1 tablespoon sugar, salt and water. Mix well.
  4. Add flour and mix well - kneading for 5 minutes or until dough is smooth.
  5. Allow to rise until double (15-20 minutes).
  6. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough with a rolling pin. If you want two loaves, divide into two now and roll each out separately.
  7. After rolling out the dough flat, roll up jelly roll style and turn ends under, placing seam down on a greased cookie sheet.
  8. Cut 3 shallow slits on each loaf.
  9. Mix egg white and 1 tablespoon water and gently brush on loaves.
  10. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  11. Boil a pan of water and put water in a shallow dish in the bottom shelf of the oven.
  12. Turn off oven.
  13. Put bread in the oven on the shelf above the pan of water.
  14. Allow to rise until double (about 20 minutes).
  15. Remove pan of water, leaving bread in the oven.
  16. Turn oven on to 425 degrees and bake bread for 10 minutes.
  17. Reduce heat to 375 and continue baking for about 6-8 minutes or until bread is golden brown.


I used a cupcake pan and filled all chambers with the boiling water as my "water pan". It was the first thing I found in my cupboard, and it worked great.


Calories: 1916 cal
Carbohydrates: 401 g
Fat: 5 g
Sodium: 2410 g
Protein: 56 g
Fiber: 15 g

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