This is a simple bread recipe great for French toast, toasted sandwiches or toast. It has no fat and very little sugar.
This bread is actually perfection! Sooooo good! And sooo super easy too. I do not have a bread machine so here is how to make it without one: First mix the yeast, sugar, and water and let that proof for about 10 minutes. Then, mix in the flour and salt and knead until smooth (okay, so I DO have a KitchenAid Mixer, which helps immensely), about 5-7 minutes with the dough hook in the KitchenAid. Place in a greased bowl (make it a BIG bowl, this rises sooo much) and cover with greased plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled (about an hour). Then punch down and knead another two minutes or so on a lightly floured surface, flatten slightly (maybe an inch thick) and roll once into an oval shaped loaf (be sure to pinch the seal closed). Make three diagonal slices on top of bread, place on greased cookie sheet, cover and let rise another hour. Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes. Bread is done when it sounds hollow when thumped on the bottom. Oh, also, I used an extra 1/2 cup of flour, but my house must be extra humid because I always have to add extra flour to my bread recipes. You are looking for the dough to pull completely away from the edge and bottom of the bowl when you are doing your first knead. This bread is soooo good it is really a must try! - 10 Jul 2008 (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)
The posted recipe is nearly the exact recipe for French Bread that was included with my bread machine. I agree...it's the BEST french bread! I read that some people's loaves were falling...it may be that the proportions are off a bit. My recipe says (instead of 1 1/2 cups of water) there should only be 1 cup + 2TBL for 3 1/2 cups of flour. 1 1/2 TBL of vegetable oil is an optional add. I always make the 2 LB loaf, bake it on the French Bread cycle and it comes out perfect every time!! - 29 Sep 2006 (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)
I'm smiling ear-to-ear over how wonderful this bread turned out! I didn't change a thing to the recipe and baked it on medium crust on the french bread cycle. It turned out a nice golden brown color and was very crispy on the outside and soft and tender on the inside. I love how the end pieces are really crunchy. This is my very first time ever baking in my bread machine too!!! My husband was so impressed. A great way to eat it is to slice it and dip it in some balsamic vinegar with olive oil and fresh cracked pepper. It's also one of those breads that is so good you can eat it plain! - 23 Aug 2004 (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)