Contributed by Premnath Bhaskaran
Here’s a recipe for a French Loaf by Premnath Bhaskaran. He says, “I have tried it out a number of times with good results. The very recent photograph attached is a witness to it. All you need is a reliable oven, time and patience. The ingredients are, I’m sure, readily available. The results are very rewarding and the bread is addictively delicious, be it with butter, jam, eggs, cheese, ham or sausages, you name it.”
- 500 gm All purpose wheat flour
- 300 ml Water, warm
- 7.5 g Instant yeast
- 10 g Sugar
- 20 ml Vegetable oil (olive oil better)
- 9g Salt
- Put the flour, sugar and the yeast all together in a bowl and mix well.
- Make a ‘well’ in the center; add the water and mix with a spoon or ladle.
- Dump this onto a sturdy table and knead for about 5 minutes.
- Add the oil and salt; knead for another 10 minutes till dough is soft.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a cloth and leave for 60 minutes or till it doubles its original volume.
- Divide the dough in two and roll each portion with your hands till you have cylinders of 30 to 40 cm; the ends could be tapered off.
- Place them on a baking tray, previously oiled, cover with a cloth and leave for 30 minutes, now slash them on the top 4 or 5 times with a sharp knife.
- At this moment, preheat the oven to 220°C, this will take about 15 minutes.
- Paint the dough with egg yolk and put the tray into the oven, bake for 30 minutes, check by knocking the bottom of the bread with your knuckles, it should sound hollow. Take all precautions please.
- When done, remove from oven and put the bread on a grill to cool.
Slices of this bread with butter are just heavenly!