French Peasant Bread

French Peasant Bread

They say the key to making bread is patience…well, the key to making bread over here in the Sweetphi household is having a husband who has patience! My husband and his father have this gift of making the BEST bread, and when we had a family gathering and my husband saw me eating shoveling a slice loaf of French Peasant bread he was super sweet and decided to make me the bread.

I even tried talking my husband and his father into starting their own blog (want to know how to start a blog?) because their bread making skills are so impressive. My ideas for blog names were IBreadYourPardon and AllYouKneadIsLoaf … I am still laughing about those names – they were not as amused.

So this weeks Five Ingredient Friday  is brought to you by my husband who has the patience to let yeast proof and dough rise…twice! After eating this Homemade French Peasant Bread and having our house smell liked freshly baked bread, I will definitely be requesting this on a regular basis.

French Peasant Bread
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 24 slices
Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon corn meal
Instructions
  1. In a bowl combine yeast, sugar and warm water and proof the yeast for 15 minutes or until frothy on top.
  2. In another bowl combine flour and salt and stir with a wooden spoon.
  3. After the yeast has proofed pour about 3 cups of the flour and salt mixture into the warm water/yeast mixture and stir with a wooden spoon to combine and then slowly add the remaining cup of flour-Don't knead it, it will be lumpy. You want to add only 3 cups of the flour and then the remaining cup of flour because you don't want it to be to dry, so if it feels too dry don't add the full remaining cup.
  4. Pour a little olive oil in a bowl and pat the dough with a little olive oil to keep it moist and put the dough it in the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise until it has doubled in size for an hour.
  5. After an hour pat a little olive oil on your hands and dive the dough into balls. Form two balls/loaves however you want to form them-either circular or rectangular.
  6. Sprinkle a little corn meal onto a baking sheet, and put the two formed loaves of dough on the baking sheet. Let rise for another hour in a warm area.
  7. Preheat oven to 425. After dough has risen for the second time, bake for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 375, then bake for an additional 15 minutes. If you would like a firmer crust, bake for an additional 5 minutes.
  8. After baking remove from oven and let cool completely and then cut and enjoy!

This recipe is slightly adapted from a recipe found on food.com for French Peasant Bread

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Showing 7 comments
  • sweetphiPhi
    Reply

    My husband said he also brushed the loaves of bread with a little butter right after taking them out of the oven-that step is optional 🙂

  • Melissa
    Reply

    Hi! I was wondering if you cover the dough with a towel when you let it rise the second time?

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      I either cover it with a towel or piece of plastic wrap 🙂

  • Logan
    Reply

    I just used this recipe to bake my first-ever loaf of bread! I used wheat flour instead of white and it came out tasting good, but didn’t rise as much as in your photo. Also, the texture of your crust is amazing; mine came out smooth (not prefered). Any tips on how to get a taller loaf with that crust texture?

    Thanks!

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      Hi Logan,
      Thanks for the comment! The thing is, whole-wheat flour makes your baked goods denser and a lot heavier than those made with just all-purpose flour (like this bread was made with). Because it’s so heavy and dense, it has a completely different texture and rise than with all-purpose flour. I have only made this particular recipe with all-purpose flour. Here are some tips for working with whole wheat flour in bread:
      • You can replace white flour with whole-wheat flour cup for cup. For every cup you exchange, add five teaspoons of water. Add additional flour only when needed while shaping.
      • If you are making bread with 100 percent whole-wheat flour, add two teaspoons of vital wheat gluten per cup to create a stronger structure and higher rise. For each teaspoon of wheat gluten you use, add another one and a quarter teaspoons of water.
      • If using 100 percent whole-wheat flour, allow the dough to rise in volume by just one and a half times, as opposed to the typical two times.

      Hope that helps
      Best,
      Phi

  • Marcia
    Reply

    I am a seasoned baker and had nothing but trouble with this recipe. It was so soupy. There was no way I could even divide the dough. I just poured it into the bowl for baking. And forget that pretty top….mine came out flat. Bread did taste good, but it didn’t have the beautiful presentation. When I compare this recipe to other boule, there is a lot more water in this recipe. Do you have the correct amount of liquid listed??
    Marcia

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      Oh my goodness, I’m so sorry to hear you had trouble with this recipe! I’ve made it (as well as my husband has made it) several times, and we’ve never had any issues, so I’d love to help trouble shoot with you. 2 to 1 ratio of flour:water is not that uncommon among breads. Did you add the 3 cups flour and 1 cup water and then the remaining cup of flour? What type of flour did you use? Did you make any other changes to the recipe? Hoping we can figure this out, I’m glad it tasted good at least!

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