Tips To Make French Bread Recipe Uk Easy

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Craving a slice of warm, crusty French bread to elevate your meal? You don’t need a fancy bakery – this recipe will show you how to create the perfect loaf right in your own kitchen!

This guide takes you through all the steps, from gathering the ingredients to enjoying the final product. We’ll use readily available ingredients found in most UK supermarkets, so there’s no need for a special shopping trip.

French Baguette
French Baguette

Ingredients:

500g strong white bread flour (bread flour)

  • 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
  • 10g salt
  • 350ml lukewarm water (around 38°C)

  • Optional Extras:

    1 tablespoon olive oil (for a richer flavour)

  • 1 tablespoon honey or sugar (for a touch of sweetness)

  • Instructions:

    1. Mixing the Dough:

  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and yeast.

  • 2. Adding the Water:

  • Gradually add the lukewarm water to the dry ingredients, mixing with a dough whisk or your hands until a shaggy dough forms.

  • 3. Kneading the Dough:

  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for at least 10 minutes. If using a stand mixer, use the dough hook attachment and knead for 5-7 minutes. The dough should become smooth and elastic.

  • 4. First Rise:

  • Lightly oil a clean bowl. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to coat with the oil. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave it in a warm place for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in size.

  • 5. Shaping the Dough:

  • Once risen, gently punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Shape the dough into a tight ball.

  • 6. Second Rise:

  • Place the shaped dough on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Cover loosely with cling film and leave to rise for another 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until almost doubled in size.

  • 7. Scoring the Top:

  • Just before baking, preheat your oven to 220°C (fan 200°C/gas mark 7). Using a sharp knife, score the top of the dough (diagonally or with a simple cross) to allow the bread to expand during baking.

  • 8. Baking:

  • Bake the bread for 25 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 200°C (fan 180°C/gas mark 6) and bake for a further 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

  • 9. Cooling:

  • Once baked, remove the bread from the oven and transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

  • Tips:

    For a crispier crust, you can place a baking tray filled with hot water on the bottom shelf of the oven while baking the bread. Remove the tray of water halfway through baking.

  • If you don’t have a proving drawer, a warm place for the dough to rise could be a sunny windowsill or near a radiator (but not directly on top of it).

  • Nutrition Facts (per slice):

    Calories: 200

  • Fat: 1g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.5g
  • Carbohydrates: 38g
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Protein: 7g
  • Salt: 1g

  • Please note: These are approximate values and can vary depending on the specific ingredients used.

    Conclusion:

    Freshly baked French bread is a simple yet satisfying treat. With a little practice, you’ll be a master baker in no time! This recipe provides a great foundation for you to experiment with different flours, flavours, and techniques.

    FAQs:

    1. Can I use all-purpose flour instead of strong white bread flour?

    While you can substitute all-purpose flour for bread flour, the resulting loaf may not have the same strong rise and crusty texture. Bread flour has a higher protein content, which helps develop gluten, leading to a better rise and a chewier crumb.

    2. Why didn’t my bread rise properly?

    There could be a few reasons:

  • The water might not have been warm enough. The ideal temperature is around 38°C (lukewarm).