The first episode in a web series of bread baking and talk about the craft of journalism, this time with Salted French.
Salted French Bread Recipe
6 cups flour
.75oz (2.5 packets) active dry yeast
1.5 tsp salt
1.5 tsp sugar
2 cups warm water
1 Tbsp cornmeal
1) Mix yeast, salt, sugar, and warm water in a bowl. Let sit for a couple minutes until the yeast begins to foam. Stir lightly.
2) Mix in flour until the dough isn’t so sticky and starts to firm up.
3) Begin to knead the dough, turning it and shaping it, while bringing in flour as necessary. You don’t want the dough too sticky, or too dry. The more you bake, the easier it gets!
4) Place the dough into a greased/oiled bowl, and let rest 30 mins or until doubled.
5) Punch down the dough on your lightly floured workspace, and divide into two. Shape the loaf into a round. Lightly dust a Banneton with rice flour (or similar) for the loaves to rise for another 20-30 minutes or so. Alternatively, set the loaf/loaves on a greased/oiled pan. (You can also form baguettes, and let them rise in a lightly floured couche, or on wax paper.) Preheat oven at 375F (for softer crust) or 450F for crispier crust.
6) For a different crust texture: mix egg and a splash of water in a small bowl or cup. Brush the egg wash onto the tops of the loaves. Sprinkle with sea salt to your taste. You could also use a light brushing of oil, or spritz of water.
7) Score (cut lines into the top of the dough) to style.
8) Bake 25-35 minutes until brown and tapping the loaves produces a hollow sound.
9) Let cool, and dig in!