French Country Bread
A simple European-style country bread. Just enough whole wheat to give it some flavor but not so much that it's heavy. I use an overnight starter to give it extra flavor.
A simple European-style country bread. Just enough whole wheat to give it some flavor but not so much that it's heavy. I use an overnight starter to give it extra flavor.
I thought this had a great flavor and produced a rustic looking nice loaf of bread. Thanks to the reviewers that suggested to up the salt. I used 1 1/2 tbsp. of Kosher salt. Although I did both proofings according to the time stated in the instructions, I felt that it was a bit underproofed. I would take the advice of the reviewer that proofed hers for longer. This has a nice crumb, although I think with proofing a bit longer, one would get more of a light airy lacy looking texture. Since this is a rustic bread, I added some sesame, poppy, kosher salt, caraway, and anise seed atop the loaves. This added to the flavor nicely. Egg washed the tops and spritzed my oven with a mister for the first 7-8 minutes; this produced a nice crusty crust. Will definitely make again with the change to the salt and will proof a bit longer on the second rising.Read More
I thought this had a great flavor and produced a rustic looking nice loaf of bread. Thanks to the reviewers that suggested to up the salt. I used 1 1/2 tbsp. of Kosher salt. Although I did both proofings according to the time stated in the instructions, I felt that it was a bit underproofed. I would take the advice of the reviewer that proofed hers for longer. This has a nice crumb, although I think with proofing a bit longer, one would get more of a light airy lacy looking texture. Since this is a rustic bread, I added some sesame, poppy, kosher salt, caraway, and anise seed atop the loaves. This added to the flavor nicely. Egg washed the tops and spritzed my oven with a mister for the first 7-8 minutes; this produced a nice crusty crust. Will definitely make again with the change to the salt and will proof a bit longer on the second rising.
What a wonderful bread. I once used a sourdough starter instead of the overnite version and that worked very well too. Crispy outside and very light and fluffy inside, while still hearty thanks to the whole wheat. I've also tried adding wheat bran and found that even tastier. Enjoy!
Very easy to make. The starter method does give additional lift and flavor. I added 1 Tablespoon of honey because my kids are fussy, it doesn't really affect the flavor. Great as toast!
This was my first time making an overnight starter and it was fun to wake up to having part of the job done! As other reviewers suggested, I increased the salt to 1.5T and even though I'm big on reducing salt normally, I am glad I did; this bread has very nice flavor. Used King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour, so my bread came out looking like a white loaf, but has the health benefits of containing whole wheat. I mixed this in my electric stand mixer and did have to add about 1.5c more flour before the dough pulled together in the bowl; added maybe another cup+ while I kneaded it to keep it from sticking. I let it rise for 45 minutes as stated, on the 2nd rising, but probably could have decreased that as my loaves came out pretty large! I didn't use loaf pans, but just turned the loaves out as baguettes onto an oiled baking sheet sprinkled with a little cornmeal; topped the loaves with an eggwhite wash, and black & white sesame seeds. We really liked this bread! Thank you, Stephen.
It was all right, but I didn't think that it had much taste to it.
Really yummy, my family loved it! Reminded me of the bread one of my favorite restaurants serve. Really easy to make and looks lovely after it is baked not to mention the great flavor!
I loved this. I really liked leaving the yeast mixture overnight - I am sometimes so impatient to start the recipe that I don't let it proof properly. The combination of bread flour and wheat flour was superb. I used my bread machine for the kneading and rising steps, and ended up with two perfect loaves. Thanks so much, Stephen!
The bread had a great crumb and is really moist. Unfortunately it had absolutely no flavor, which I found out after baking the first loaf. For the second loaf, I tried to remedy it by brushing the unbaked loaf with a salt solution then sprinkling the top of the bread with kosher salt. This gave it some flavor and supported toppings well. If you're looking for a good everyday bread, add some salt to the recipe and go with this one. But if you are looking for a French pain levain, or that bread you had in that brasserie in Dijon, you will be disappointed.
I loved this recipe. Seattle has great bakeries so I almost never bake my own bread, but if I lived in the middle of nowhere, this might be the recipe I'd use for everyday bread. It had a wonderful spongy texture, mild flavor, and chewy crust. I made the starter the night before, made the dough, and then—because I didn't have time to bake that night—I shaped the loaves and let them rest overnight in the refrigerator and baked them the next morning. The loaves got very slightly overproofed, but it was worth it for the convenience factor. I used whole wheat pastry flour, which is all I had at home, and the result was an almost-white bread that would be great for sandwiches (our bread got eaten too fast to try it with anything fancier than butter); it kept well overnight, too. The dough was very wet, but I just kind of kept kneading it in a mixing bowl, which was more of a flopping-the-dough-around action than kneading...but by the time I was ready to shape the loaves, the dough had tightened up nicely. I baked one round loaf and one in a loaf pan; I used a baking stone and covered the loaves with cast iron Le Crueset-type pans to trap the steam and give them a thick crackling crust. Wonderful!
I'm only halfway through this recipe (waiting for the first rise), but so far I love it! The proportions of ingredients are perfect and everything is going exactly as indicated. I'm a novice bread baker (this is only my second attempt at bread) so I'm very excited. I'll write again when I taste it, but I'm expecting it to be just what I'm looking for!
Great bread. I follow the recipe but before all the flour is mixed in I add some chopped kalamata olives and some rough chopped fresh garlic cloves about 1/4-1/3 cup each. Then add as much flour as to make a nice dough. When I put loaves in the oven I toss 2-3 Tblsp of water in the bottom of the oven to give them a nice crispy crust. Great bread for dipping in a seasoned olive oil.
Very good. I used my sweet sourdough starter mixed with 1 c flour and let sit overnight instead of the starter as written. It rose very nicely and has a nice taste and consistency.
I didn't think this needed more salt. The flavor is derived from the sponge and it is excellent. I'm wondering if there is an error in the ingredient list however. The instructions call for all the flour to be added, then say add the rest of the flour 1/2 cup at a time. Since It produced such a very wet. loose dough I added an additional 1 cup of bread flour and 1/2 cup of WW to maintain the proportions. I still had a very wet dough, but I was able to work with it. It smelled great while baking, has a beautiful, rustic crumb and a crunchy, chewy crust. I threw 4 ice cubes in my oven to help crisp the crust. Thank you for a very nice bread.
I have made many, many breads from this site as well as others. This is really one of the best tasting breads you will make. The starter I think is what must helps take this from ordinary to a must have. I did not make any changes to recipe.
This was not just delicious, but very forgiving. I mixed it in the bread machine, realizing halfway through that I'd mismeasured some ingredients, so I stopped it, fixed the ingredients, then mixed. I put it in a bowl to rise. I made loaves, but my daughter child-handled a bunch of the dough and made tiny rolls and "bread worms". I then forgot to set the timer on the oven. It all turned out wonderful - my husband said it was "outstanding". It was much softer than I expected - I was expecting more of a crusty, holey French bread, but I'll make this again and again. YUM!
all I can say is OMG this bead is awesome I let the sponge set over night it really makes a difference I will make this bread over and over again I have made it in round loaf and also in reg loafs it is goo anyway you make it. It is a really easy recipe even a beginner can't mess this up give it a try
I made this because the overnight starter appealed to me. I like the more fermented flavor it gives to a loaf. I didn't have any whole wheat flour, so I used a combo of bread and all purpose. Based on other reviewers having to add more flour, I decided to decrease the water in the main dough to 1 cup and I added a tsp of honey. I still had to use an additional 1/2 cup of flour. The bread was wonderful and the flavor was certainly better than ones I've tried without the overnight starter. It rose beautifully, had a light, soft crumb and a nice crust. If I had used whole wheat flour, I probably would have added a Tbsp of molassas to deepen the color and add another layer of flavor to it. Good bread. I'll make this again. Thanks Stephen.
Thank you Stephen for sharing this recipe. I free formed two loaves and baked on bread stone in oven. The best rustic, chewy crusty bread ever.
Lots of fun to make! Although this was my first time making bread by following the instructions I was able to make great tasting bread. I added a tablespoon of sugar, more salt. Just before cooking I lightly covered the tops with the mixture of an egg yolk (+ 1tablespoon water) to get a crunchy crust. In addition, instead of 1/2 wheat I used 2 cups white whole wheat flour that I made on a VitaMix blender. Because of the wheat it came out tighter but great tasting and looking. Pictures will be uploaded. My picky hubby and kids all loved it!
Great bread. I always follow the recipe to the letter the first time around, how else can you give it a fair review? Good stuff we ate it all up right out of the oven so we made a second batch. That one a added the boiling water to the oven just to crisp up the crust a little more. The only reason I gave it 4 stars is because the French bakery near me makes it better. But you have to say that there is some thing that make home made food just tast great! I have now started using bread machine yeast and skiped the first rising step. I go straight to the sheet covered with damp cloth and one rised in the oven they go. I can't tell the differance from the first batches we made, big time saver when yuo want to eat NOW!
I love making bread with a starter - it adds a much deeper flavor. The first time I made this bread, I found it to be a little flat and one dimensional in flavor. The second time I made it I used an overnight starter, but replenished it with 1/2 cup water and 3/4 cup flour in the morning, and then left it out about 3 more hours. I also only used 1 tsp. of yeast instead of 2. This caused the rise time to be a bit longer. (2 hours on the first rise and about 1 hr 15 min. for the second.) It's a little more time consuming, but the starter and the longer rises is where the more complex flavor comes from. I also upped the salt to 1 Tbsp. sea salt and used a stone ground whole wheat flour from my health food store. (The kind you have to store in the freezer.) The bread came out delicious. My husband loves it. For those who want a crisper crust try steaming your ovens in the first few minutes of baking.
i really liked this recipe but had to use robin hood multigrain flour becoz i ran out of ww and since some reviewers said the taste was bland and i did want to have garlic bread i added approx 1/4 tsp garlic powder...i made the dough in my breadmachine and baked it in the oven and it was tasty...thanks for the recipe
didnt have wheat flour so ended up using all purpose for this. i let the starter stay out for 18 hours. turned out great. will make again. i did brush some melted honey over the top before putting it in the oven to give it a sweet crunch on top.
Love this recipe. I did add 3 T of honey. We love it for toast.
Super. The best bread I made. I did use 3tsp of salt. Let the bread raise..even if it takes a loong time. I kept misti g the bread with water for the first 6 mins. Excellent results.
I've never made bread before and I decided to try this recipe for my first bread making venture. It was very easy to make and it tasted great.
I have tried this recipe and it is like my recipe for my German Bread i have made for years, there is nothing wrong with this recipe you can add anything you like and it turns out every time, and the taste is very good .MY NEIGHBOR LIKES IT TO
I made this but found that the batter(dough) was way too wet. I had to add several more cups of flour as it was VERY sticky.
This was a new experience for me as I've never made bread wth a starter before. I did let the dough rise for much longer than stated on the frst rising about 2 hours. We all enjoyed this with garlic butter also from this site. Thanks
This was my first time making a yeast bread, and it turned out great! I fretted over the amount of flour needed - I ended up needing at least 2 extra cups. I used all white flour as I had no wheat on hand, and it tastes great, just like bread from a nice restaurant. I brushed the tops with melted butter and sprinkled on some wheat germ for a nice pretty effect. Overall my first shot was pretty great! Thanks for the recipe!
LOVE this bread! I only had all-purpose white flour and added some extra salt and a bit of honey. I've learned through trial and error that water-to-flour ratios can vary depending on many factors, so I always start with the minimum of flour and add more accordingly to achieve the perfect consistency. Made into a baguette and dinner rolls. Superb! *Update* I also used this dough to make Stromboli and it was SO good. Very versatile dough!
First time making fresh bread. I am impressed at how simple making bread is and this recipe was easy.
I really enjoyed this bread. It has a nice mild sourdough-y flavor to it. I've never worked with a starter before- it was fun. In addition to the one cup of whole wheat, I used one cup of King Arthur White whole wheat flour. This rose so nicely and was pretty easy to work with. I was going to do an eggwash but I forgot, so after they came out of the oven I brushed them with melted butter. I also increased the salt to 1.5 TBS like LadyJapPee. Great idea! Perfect. Had this for dinner with Potato and Cheddar Soup. The kids loved this bread- they couldn't stay away from it before dinner! I made one round loaf and one regular loaf.
I tried this bread and I love it, it's the best one I've tried so far! I loved how you let some of dough sit overnight. I had no problem rising the bread, in fact it wouldn't stop rising, I didn't even have to let in finish the alotted rise time and it still turned out great. I used unbleached white flour instead of the others and added a little honey and it is wonderful. My son accidentally slammed the oven door shut when I had just put the bread in the oven to bake, and this is a very hearty dough because it didn't sink in with the force of that slam, most bread I've worked with usually does at the slightest wrong movement.
I made the recipe as stated. It was a little bland and I will go over the reviews and add some extra salt as I felt it was lacking something. But it is good and I will try again.
This bread is delicious with great texture... After reading reviews, I upped the salt to 2.5 tablespoons, and I baked them in two 8 inch round cake pans. Turned out great!
Recipe as written. Baked in a Dutch oven. 20 min covered and 10 min uncovered. Might be my new go to bread recipe.
I noted the comments about bland taste when deciding to try this recipe. I have troubles keeping a sourdough starter active due to heavy work travel, so I was intrigued by the overnight proof. Bread baking is more of a process than a recipe in my opinion so I rarely follow a recipe entirely. The first time, I used a 10-grain flour. Lovely dense bread with a crust. I'm about to make again, this time I'm using wheat germ with flour in the overnight proof. I will add some honey and will use walnut oil instead of olive oil.
It turned out ok, but it was not crusty like I had hoped it would be.
This makes excellent, basic bread. I use a variety of grains in the starter, usually rye, whole wheat, and some rolled oats. I also throw all the yeast in. It doesn't seem to make a difference.
I thought this recipe was a 3, but my boyfriend liked it and gave it a 4. I guess I don't really care for wheat breads. Aesthetically, I'd say this was a 5, but it was somewhat lacking in taste. I upped the salt (only to 4 tsp), like other reviewers, but it came out too salty for my liking. I had to add an add'l 1.5-2 cups of flour.. Thanks for the recipe.
It was great!
Tastes good but bland- great for dinners where you are going to use it to "mop" up whatevers on your plate. For just eating, I'd add some sugar or spices to it. Made them into dinner rolls and baked on a stone for 20 min- came out great!
Great bread! I love how there isn't any added sugar to this recipe. The flavor is good & this bread very easy to make. I followed the recipe exactly & I am very happy with the results! Definitely a keeper.
After transferring to my mixer, I added 1/2 cup additional bread flour at a time until the dough pulled away from the bowl. After reading other reviews, I added 1 tbsp of honey after the salt, then sesame seeds, caraway seeds, and a pinch of kosher salt to the top of each loaf. Tastes great, and is a hit with the family.
I love it. Cooked it @ 415° as 1 round loaf on a pizza stone coated with olive oil. Very moist, great crust. I will cut the top, use an egg wash and increase the salt next time, especially since I use kosher salt.
I am giving this bread recipe 5 stars because that is all that is allowed. I made this recipe once and couldn't remember the name "French Country Bread". I am happy that I could find it again because I have to take bread to our ladies gathering tomorrow and this one is perfect. This time I added it to my recipe box.
This may be my new favourite recipe! I used multigrain flour because I didn't have whole wheat. Instead of bread flour I used all purpose flour with 2 tbsp of vital wheat gluten. I added 1 tbsp honey as suggested by one review and I'm glad I did. The honey taste was subtle but I think it really added to the taste. I used sea salt instead of table salt. I made the dough in my bread maker. I would have started with six cups of flour instead of 4 because it took a long time adding 1/4 cup of flour at a time to form a dough. Baked it using the farmhouse bread master chef setting for the Miele combi steam convection oven on the second lowest color. The result was crusty on the outside and very springy and soft on the inside. Delicious!
This bread is delicious! I may never (or at least rarely) purchase bakery bread again. My only adjustment was allowing 2 hours for the dough to rise.