In the United States, March 21st is National French Bread Day. According to the National Day Calendar
“French bread, also known as a baguette, is a long thin loaf made from basic lean dough. It is defined by its length and its crisp crust. Over time, French law has established what is and what is not a baguette. Beginning in 1920 a labor law prevented bakers from starting their day before 4 a.m. Bakers adjusted by shaping their loaves of bread, so they baked more quickly and evenly. As a result, the long, narrow loaves were found to be convenient for slicing and storing.
The French are known for their high standards where culinary arts are concerned. To preserve quality in their bread, laws were passed requiring minimum quantities of certain quality ingredients in each loaf of bread.”
This is an easy french bread recipe – give it a try and tell us what you think!
- 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 c. unsifted flour
- 2 pkg. instant dry yeast
- 1 (12 oz.) bottle beer
- 1/4 c. water
- 2 tbsp. shortening
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten
- Heat beer, water, shortening, salt and sugar to 120 to 130 degrees, stirring constantly. Pour into flour, yeast mixture (2 cups flour and yeast). Beat 1/2 minute at low speed, scraping bowl. Beat 3 minutes or more at high speed. Gradually stir in more flour and knead 5-10 minutes. Let rise until doubled. Punch down and let rise 15 minutes.
- Divide into 2 loaves, brush with egg white and let rise. Brush again. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 to 35 minutes. (I put these 2 loaves in the shape of French breads on a cookie sheet sprinkled with corn meal.)
Thanks to Cooks.com for this recipe.