This recipe has been in my family for generations. My mum used to make it all the time when I was growing up, and it was famous with everyone who ever tried it! Since then she's adapted it to a 100% whole wheat version (which is also fabulous), but for today I'm just going to share the original white recipe:
Mummies Famous French Bread
temp: 425 - cook time: 25-30 mins. - yield: 2 loaves
- 5 3/4 C. flour
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 tbs. sugar
- 2 tbs yeast
- 2 C. hot water
- 2 tbs. olive oil
Now you can see by these loaves that I'm not a perfectionist, so I don't mind wonky shaped bread (also I don't mind that someone already cut into the bread before I could take a picture:), but if you want better perfection in your loaves, simply take a little more time prepping them for the oven.
- Add dry ingredients together in mixing bowl and whisk together forming a well in the center.
- Add your 2 cups of hot (but not scalding, or you'll kill your yeast!) water to a glass measuring cup, and than add your oil to the water. Pour your water and oil mixture slowly into the well you've made in your flour, all the while starting to mix with a wooden spoon, slowly bringing the outer flour into the center.
- After your dry and wet ingredients are making pretty good friends, remove your rings and begin mixing with your hands, continuing to scoop the outer dough to the center and pushing down, rotating the bowl in a circle. try not to over-mix! You want residual flour here and there.
- Once your all done flip the whole big 'lump' over and cover the bowl with a dish towel or tea towel remembering to not leave any cracks for warm air to escape!
- Twice or three times during the next hour or so you'll flip the dough over, mix it only three or four times pulling the outside to the inside, fli it back over, and recover with your towel.
- Spread a thin layer of flour on your counter top and plop half of your dough in the center. Use your rolling pin to make a tall rectangle, and start rolling from one side to the other forming your loaf. Make sure to pinch your crease all the way along the seam or your loaf will unroll in the oven!
- With the seam now at the bottom, use a pastry brush to spread a thin layer of egg-whites over the surface. Sprinkle with sesame seeds (sometimes I add sunflower and or poppy seeds), and slice between 4-6 times diagonally across the top.
- Add the pan to your hot oven for 25 mins and get some dishes done while you wait! In the last five mins i like to spread a little melted butter across the top. Sinful I know, but it just makes the flakiest most delicious crust! ...also I add more butter at the very end when I take them out of the oven.... Don't judge me!
Enjoy!! You will not regret it. If you have any questions, please ask, and hey leave a comment letting me know how it went for you!
have a beautiful Wednesday everyone!