Author Topic: How to bake standing french loaves from scratch, with pictures  (Read 12044 times)

Offline cohutt

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How to bake standing french loaves from scratch, with pictures
« on: January 16, 2010, 09:10:39 PM »

Standing French loaves

Not much to it really after you do it once or twice

1 pack of yeast
¼ tsp sugar
1 cup of water +
3 ½ cups of unbleached bread flour
¼ cup rye or whole wheat flour
3 tsp salt

Proof the yeast in ¼ cup of hot tap water by stirring it with the sugar
Add the cup of water to this when it bubbles up some
Put flour in food processor with a plastic dough blade
Turn on processor and slowly by steadily pour the water/yeast mixture in until the dough forms a ball that runs around the bowl a bit.
Let it rest for 5-10 minutes
Check it- if sticky/wet feeling to the touch add a tiny amount of flour and run the processor.
Once it is soft to the touch but no sticky, turn on the processor and have it turn the ball 30 times – 30 laps.  If you do much more the dough will overheat.

Let it rest 5 minutes then turn out on a lightly floured surface and pound flat, fold over, repeat about 30 times.  



Place in dry un-oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap for the first rise. Dough should be 1 ½ times bigger, maybe 45 minutes, 1 hr.  I turn on the oven for 1 minute then turn it off and put the dough in the oven to rise.



Put the dough ball on the floured surface again, mash it flat into a square that it approx 12” x 12”.  
Fold one side 1/3 into the middle, then do the same from the other. Flatten and repeat from the top and bottom, then place the dough smooth side up in the bowl again.   Again, use the heel of your palm to work the dough well:


« Last Edit: March 22, 2010, 10:55:09 AM by ModernSurvival »

Offline cohutt

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Re: How to bake standing french loaves from scratch, with pictures
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2010, 09:10:51 PM »
By now the extra gluten in the bread flour will “spring” into action- the dough pushes back and wants to unfold as here:



The dough pictured above is returned to the bowl for the 2nd rise. Notice how it still is pushing back and trying to unroll itself:


Cover, return to the (off) oven and let rise 2- 21/2 times its size.   This will take 1 – 1 ½ hours.  The time isn’t important; it is the amount of rise you are after.

About 90 minutes later the dough has risen to the point of filling the bowl:



Now it is time to divide the dough (2 parts for long fat loaves, 3 parts for smaller loaves or baguettes is what I did today).   

Cover two of the dough balls with a lightly floured towel and the form a loaf with the other as follows:

Mash it flat and stretch it out a bit.   


Fold it over on itself (long ways) then mash flat, applying a lot of pressure to the seam at the fold to seal it.   




Using the outside of your hand, make a depression up the center  and then fold the sides up and pinch together the seam, leaving it along the top.



Roll the dough back and forth rapidly to elongate and round it; working your hands on the ends with taper them off a bit for a nice shape.

Offline cohutt

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Re: How to bake standing french loaves from scratch, with pictures
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2010, 09:12:45 PM »
Place the loaf seam side up on the towel and cover.  (Place the towel on an upside down baking sheet first.) 
Repeat with the other two dough balls, being sure to keep some towel between them so that they won’t touch when they rise.

Before the 3rd and final rise this is what the loaves look like:
 


Move the sheet with the towel covered loaves to a warm draft free place (I used the warming drawer under my oven) and let rise a final time.  This will take an hour or slightly more. 

 After not quite 1 hour the loaves have risen nicely:



And after 1 ½ hours they are ready:



A note about the oven:
Commercial bread ovens have a hot baking surface (the bottom of the oven) that the loaf is put directly onto.  This is absolutely necessary to get the right texture for your loaves and allow for some expansion in the oven before the yeast is killed off by the heat.   To replicate this in your home oven, pizza stones and baking stones are made but it is just as easy (and cheaper) to get quarry tiles and place them on one of your oven racks.

Offline cohutt

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Re: How to bake standing french loaves from scratch, with pictures
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2010, 09:13:11 PM »
Preheat the over to 400 (on convection of possible) with the tiles in it and set aside ½ cup of cold water.

Quickly roll the loaves off of the towel onto a board, flipping them over so the smooth side that was the bottom now becomes the top.  (Sprinkling the wood with a little cornmeal will help the loaves slide off; don’t use more flour as it will stick to the dough and scorch the bottom of your loaves.) Using a one sided razor, quickly make 3 slashes at an angle on each loaf.  

Slashed and ready for the oven:



Slide the loaves onto the tiles, toss the ½ cup of water onto the bottom of the over below the tiles and shut the door.  Set the timer for 20 minutes.
Stopping to take the pictures lets the loaves flatten more than I like but they recover pretty well.  

On the hot tiles right before closing the door:



After about 5 minute the loaves will have expanded – the slashes will be wide open and at the surface (now you know why you slash them- allows for expansion and lighter loaves).  This turned out to be a crappy shot through the door but you can kind of see how the loaves have expanded:



The loaves will need another 10 minutes or so after the first 20. It is good to check the bottom of the loaves at this point to see if they are getting too brown.  If so, quickly slide an oven rack between the tiles and the loaves to raise them off the surface.  If the tops are browning too much, cover with a sheet of foil (shiny side up) for the last few minutes.   Checking is more important of you are baking in a conventional oven; in a good convection oven everything cooks very evenly and hot spots are not likely.

The loaves will feel firm, light and hollow when done.  To be sure you can slide a meat thermometer into one loaf to check- the bread is done when the internal temps hit 200.

The smell of the bread baking will be maddening especially when you take them out of the oven to cool on a rack.  However, RESIST the temptation to cut a loaf to eat until after they cool- the overall texture of the bread will be best of allowed to cool before cutting.
Rainy Saturday afternoon standing French loaves, fresh out of the oven:



The bread will store for a couple or three days in the fridge in bags, but since it is preservative free it is best to eat it within this period.


Delicious, and you known what’s in it.  And what’s not.  

Yum


« Last Edit: January 17, 2010, 05:13:33 AM by cohutt »

Offline DeltaEchoVictor

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Re: How to bake standing french loaves from scratch, with pictures
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2010, 09:23:34 PM »
Cool post!

+1
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Heavy G was right. All the threads back here do end up as gay porn.  :o
See...
Okay, just so it is noted, Doc is the one who started the gay porn on this thread.  ;D

Offline cohutt

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Re: How to bake standing french loaves from scratch, with pictures
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2010, 09:26:06 PM »
Thank you DEV, lol I'd been hanging at 39 karma for months and wondering if the Karma meter was broken.

Offline Darkwinter

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Re: How to bake standing french loaves from scratch, with pictures
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2010, 09:27:06 PM »
looks delicious!!
The Goatpocolypse is near

Offline chris

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Re: How to bake standing french loaves from scratch, with pictures
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2010, 11:08:04 PM »
+1
Thank you for a constructive and positive contribution to the post!  I much rather see these types of responses than the negative, pessimistic posts of some other members.  - tankman1989


Offline ebonearth

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Re: How to bake standing french loaves from scratch, with pictures
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2010, 11:29:12 PM »
Well done! +1
Man, despite his artistic pretension, his sophistication, and many accomplishments, owes the fact of his existence to a six-inch layer of topsoil -- and the fact that it rains. -- Anonymous

Offline Roknrandy

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Re: How to bake standing french loaves from scratch, with pictures
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2010, 03:10:28 AM »
I'm starving now  ;D

Looks great.

Ya know, the more I think about it the madder I get.  Our motto, what we believed down in our heart, went something like this "ye though I walk through the Valley of Death we will fear no evil...for we are the baddest mother strawberry pickers in the Valley".

FAILURE TO PLAN ON YOUR PART DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AN EMERGENCY ON MY PART

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: How to bake standing french loaves from scratch, with pictures
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2010, 06:30:14 AM »
Looks great.  Thanks for posting.
F_M
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Offline Heavy G

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Re: How to bake standing french loaves from scratch, with pictures
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2010, 07:02:15 AM »
Hmmm... you've got me thinking and drooling.

You might be interested in the ten-book prepper novel series called 299 Days.  I, like, wrote it and stuff.  Prepper Press is publishing it.  Seriously.  Check out www.299Days.com.

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Offline cohutt

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Re: How to bake standing french loaves from scratch, with pictures
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2010, 08:12:38 AM »
This basic recipe works for round loaves too- I have made them before and they are good too, not as much delicious chewy crust per piece, so it depends on what you like.   You can make a dozen hard rolls with this as well although I don't recall ever doing it.

I've added more rye flour  than the modest amount this recipe calls for ( ~1.25 cup rye and 2.25 bread four) and made 4 small loaves out of the batch that I carried backpacking once.  The rye doesn't let it expand as much both rising and in the oven so the texture is much heavier.  It made for excellent trail snacking; we would tear a couple inches of loaf off and gnaw on it while walking.

If you want to make a wheat slicing bread with this you can; same with the rye.  You would blend roughly equal parts of the bread flour with either the rye or whole wheat flour and proceed as the recipe above calls for.  Instead of forming loaves before the final rising, the dough would be divided and put into a couple of loaf pans.  If you are planning on using a pan, you can get away with regular unbleached flour vs the bread flour; the support of the pan compensates for losing the higher gluten% in the bread flour.  The high gluten is what holds the dough together on its own when baking standing loaves.
The recipe I used in this can also go into bread pans as is but the character and texture is much different; still delicious and excellent slicing or sandwich bread, but different.

Hare of Caerbannog

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Re: How to bake standing french loaves from scratch, with pictures
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2010, 12:08:32 PM »
YUM!

:hare:

Offline FunkBuddha

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Re: How to bake standing french loaves from scratch, with pictures
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2010, 12:26:49 PM »
Trying this now. I'll let you know how it turns out. I've never successfully made good bread.

Offline cohutt

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Re: How to bake standing french loaves from scratch, with pictures
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2010, 04:39:22 PM »
Let us know. :)

Offline CTF250

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Re: How to bake standing french loaves from scratch, with pictures
« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2010, 06:59:57 PM »
Great post cohutt, Im gonna have to try that next rainy day

by the way, got a recipe for hard rolls?


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Offline FunkBuddha

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Re: How to bake standing french loaves from scratch, with pictures
« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2010, 07:11:04 PM »
The wife and i just finished eating about half a loaf. It was perfect! Thanks for the how-to! It wasn't hard, just time consuming.

Offline BerserkerPrime

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Re: How to bake standing french loaves from scratch, with pictures
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2010, 07:16:25 PM »
Very nice Cohutt!

Offline cohutt

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Re: How to bake standing french loaves from scratch, with pictures
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2010, 07:32:44 PM »
Great post cohutt, Im gonna have to try that next rainy day

by the way, got a recipe for hard rolls?


 :D :D :D :D :D

same recipe, divide the dough in half, each half in half again, then these 4 into 3rds.  You have a dozen hard rolls.

To form the hard rolls (as well as large round loaves), you roll them rounds than with both hands tuck the sides underneath and pinch together a couple times.   This stretches the top out and tensions the sides so that the roll holds its shape.  Turn over on the towel to rise with the smooth side down. Once risen roll them over onto the board so the smooth side is up when you slide it into the oven

Offline cohutt

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Re: How to bake standing french loaves from scratch, with pictures
« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2010, 07:43:03 PM »
The wife and i just finished eating about half a loaf. It was perfect! Thanks for the how-to! It wasn't hard, just time consuming.


Cool. 

I like the bread better the next day after it has spent the night in the fridge.   Nice and chewy.

It takes a while for sure, but once you've done it a couple more times it becomes easier.  It really is a just few minutes of attention every hour or so for 4 hrs.  You'll be able to do this while you are doing something else if you pay attention to the rise times.


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Re: How to bake standing french loaves from scratch, with pictures
« Reply #21 on: January 17, 2010, 10:11:13 PM »
I've been making all my bread for about 6 months in a bread machine and have recently started making them by hand. This will give me more variety to try.
thanks

Offline Peacekeeper1029

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Re: How to bake standing french loaves from scratch, with pictures
« Reply #22 on: January 17, 2010, 10:58:14 PM »
Mmmmmm, making my mouth salivate.  I'll bring some butter.
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Offline srob308

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Re: How to bake standing french loaves from scratch, with pictures
« Reply #23 on: December 02, 2010, 09:08:47 PM »
I am off to Lowes or home Depot for the quarry tiles in the morning! Looks great! Can't wait to make this for the family!

Offline cohutt

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Re: How to bake standing french loaves from scratch, with pictures
« Reply #24 on: December 03, 2010, 04:16:00 AM »
Good Luck and don't be discouraged if it doesn't come out perfectly the first time.   (I've found that my "mistakes" are just as edible, just not quite as pretty. )

Offline ncjeeper

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Re: How to bake standing french loaves from scratch, with pictures
« Reply #25 on: December 03, 2010, 10:57:12 AM »
Neat. Just found this thread.
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Offline kevo

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Re: How to bake standing french loaves from scratch, with pictures
« Reply #26 on: December 03, 2010, 05:02:21 PM »
Those look so good! However, after realizing I have a gluten allergy, it's GLUTEN FREE foods now. Ever tried this with without wheat?

I am brand new to GLUTEN FREE cooking but am working through it. I know that I have to use Xanthum Gum since there's no wheat gluten.

I'm now going to look up GLUTEN FREE (GF) recipes.

Offline archer

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Re: How to bake standing french loaves from scratch, with pictures
« Reply #27 on: December 03, 2010, 05:23:20 PM »
try these:
Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Mix
3 parts brown rice flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
3 parts corn starch
2 parts soy flour
1 part masa harina


Gluten-free self-rising flour
   2 tablespoons potato flour
   enough white rice flour to make it up to 1 cup
   1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
   1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
   1 teaspoon xanthan gum OR guar gum
        OR pre-gel starch

Gluten-free baking powder
   1/4 cup bicarbonate soda (baking soda)
   1/2 cup cream of tartar


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Offline kevo

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Re: How to bake standing french loaves from scratch, with pictures
« Reply #28 on: December 03, 2010, 07:40:13 PM »
Thanks a bunch! +1

There's gluten in Baking Powder? Dang... I'm finding there's gluten in a lot of stuff and usually it appears not necessary.

Offline cohutt

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Re: How to bake standing french loaves from scratch, with pictures
« Reply #29 on: December 03, 2010, 08:30:00 PM »
Scotch lettuce and beef

All you need to survive gluten free