Making your own French Bread is actually not hard at all. I made this last weekend and you don’t need bread machine at all. Consider it as arm workout cos you will need to knead the dough.
HOMEMADE FRENCH BAGUETTES
1 cup water
2 1/2 cups bread flour ( I use 1 cup whole wheat flour 1 1/2 cup bread flour)
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon instant active yeast
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon water
1. Combine flour and yeast and mix together in a bowl. Then add sugar and 1 cup water. Knead the dough and add salt.
2. Knead the dough till it’s well combined, soft and not sticky. Place dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover, and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes, or until doubled in bulk. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.
3. Punch down dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll into a 16×12 inch rectangle. Cut dough in half, creating two 8×12 inch rectangles (since i have small oven, i made the roll smaller). Roll up each half of dough tightly, beginning at 12 inch side, pounding out any air bubbles as you go. Roll gently back and forth to taper end. Place 3 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Make deep diagonal slashes across loaves every 2 inches, or make one lengthwise slash on each loaf. Cover, and let rise in a warm place for 30 to 40 minutes, or until doubled in bulk.
4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Mix egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water; brush over tops of loaves.
5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.
Since i used whole wheat flour and bread flour, the bread is less fluffy and more guiltless.