French Boule

We eat a lot of bread around here, with the three guys taking lunches with them every day, we go through a few loaves of bread a week, at least 3 maybe 4.   I try my best to bake as much bread myself as I can, as our boys prefer sour dough bread to anything else (Wonderbread comes in second).

While this isn’t a sour dough bread, it has a lot of the same characteristics as sour dough, and the best part is how extremely easy it is to make.   Trust me, this is dead simple to make.

Firstly, the original recipe (Here) makes enough dough for 4 – 1 lbs. loaves of bread, I’ve halved this, as personally I found towards the end of using up the dough it started to get kinda dry, but maybe that was just me.

Start off with 1 1/2 cups of warm water (I don’t measure the temperature just make sure it’s not too hot, you don’t want to kill the yeast).  Then sprinkle over 2 1/4 tsp (1 pkg) instant or active dry yeast.   (If your using active dry, you don’t need to let it proof).

Mix your salt with the flour (I do this as a precaution just in case) and then dump in with the water and yeast. Mix together, scraping down the sides of the bowl and making sure there are no dry patches of flour.

That’s it, simply cover loosely (I leave the lid slightly ajar) and let rise for 2 hours.

After the two hours it will have puffed up nicely, doubled in sized.   Then put the lid on, but don’t close it tightly, you want to allow the gases to escape, and place in the fridge over night.   The dough can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, giving you more of that sour dough taste as time goes along.

When you’re ready, simply take your container out of the fridge and decide how big of a boule you wish.   1 lbs. or 2 lbs.   Take a little bit of flour and “cloak” the dough.   This simply means sprinkle flour over the portion of dough you plan on removing, spreading it out evenly.   Then, using your fingers, punch through the dough “cutting” through to the bottom of the container, and all around the sides.

Once you’ve removed the dough from the container, place “cloaked” side down and quickly, pull all the sides of the dough up to the centre, creating a ball, turn over and give this a few quick pulls on the counter, like you would when making buns, then place on a piece of parchment paper that has been lightly dusted with flour.  Dust the top with a little more flour.

Start preheating your oven to 450 degrees F.  Place either a baking stone or again in my case, a dark sheet pan in the oven to preheat with your oven, so you get that nice bakery crust on the bottom.

After 45 minutes, once your oven is sufficiently preheated, get a water bottle ready with some hot water, using the “mist” setting.

Then, using a very sharp knife (I use our carving knife because I find it works best for me) and score the top of the bread with either an “X” or a tic-tac-toe pattern.

Then transfer to the oven, and quickly mist the inside of the oven 20 times, yup I count, doing this quickly, then shut the door and set the timer.   35 minutes for a 1 lbs. loaf and 45 to 50 minutes for a 2 lbs. loaf.     To make sure the bread is baked properly, you can check the internal temperature, it should be at least 190 degrees F.

Allow to cool on a cooling rack.

This bread does go stale quickly, the joys of baking without preservatives.  We slice this up and store it in a ziploc bag, then toast it up as needed.

I can make a 1 lbs. loaf every day, this goes that fast around here, if I’m exhausted and want a bit of a break I will make the 2 lbs. loaf, just to have a day off. And even with this bread we still go through a couple of loaves of Wonderbread a week.


French Boule

(Makes 2 – 1 lbs. loaves)

1 1/2 cups warm water

2 1/4 tsp. Instant or dry active yeast

2 1/4 tsp. Salt

3 1/4 cups flour (all purpose)

  1. Place all ingredients into container, mixing to combine.   Scrape sides of container, ensuring there are no dry bits or pockets of flour.
  2. Cover lightly and allow to rise for 2 hours.
  3. Cover with lid, slightly open and place in fridge over night.
  4. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  5. Cloak portion of dough and remove from container,   Place remaining dough back in the fridge (can be stored for up to 2 weeks).
  6. Form dough into a ball, this should only that about 20 to 30 seconds.
  7. Place boule onto a lightly floured piece of parchment paper.
  8. Allow to rest for 45 minutes.
  9. Fill spay bottle with hot water, set to mist.
  10. Using a very sharp knife score top of boule.
  11. Transfer to oven, onto either baking stone or a baking sheet that has been heating up in the oven.
  12. Quickly mist 20 times. Into the oven, then shut the door and bake for 35 to 50 minutes.
  13. Remove from the oven when done and transfer to a cooling rack.  Allow to come to room temperature.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. foodamazers says:

    Lovely recipe! I would love to learn how to make bread properly! Maria

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is definitely a super simple recipe and gives amazing results the very first time!

      Liked by 1 person

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