Thursday, November 8, 2012

Sea-Salted French Bread

Do not be afraid.

I won't lie to you, this does, in fact, involve yeast. 

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who love yeast and those who..well..don't.  I happen to fall into the former category and yeast and I have always been bff's.  I don't even measure the temp of the water (gasp!) (ps it's supposed to be between 100 and 115 degrees if you're curious and/or OCD).  Instead, I was taught a little trick a few years back while working for a catering company and officially being handed over the role of making all the cinnamon buns.  Here's my secret: simply stick your finger in the warm water before adding the yeast and make sure the water doesn't have a "bite" to it.  Easy peasy. 

Ok, so if you can get over that fear of yeast and get over the fact that yes, you can stop at the grocery store on the way home and pick up a loaf of french bread for approximately 99 cents, then please make a loaf of this bread.  It is super simple (involving only six ingredients) and smells amazing.  Really, who doesn't love the smell of bread baking in the oven?  I think that's gotta be in the top 10 favorite smells of everyone in America.  Oh yea, and it tastes amazing too- don't think I mentioned that :)

Sea-Salted French Bread

1 cup warm water (between 100 and 115 degrees)
1 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
2 - 2 1/2 cups all-purpose or bread flour
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 egg white
Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling

Combine water, yeast, and sugar in mixer fitted with dough hook and allow yeast to proof for 10 minutes.

Add in flour, starting with 2 cups and adding more if necessary, until tacky, yet pliable dough forms.  Knead in mixer for 5 minutes.  Sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt over dough and knead until well-incorporated.

Remove dough hook and let dough rise in mixing bowl covered with a loose towel until doubled in size (about 1 hour). 

Punch down dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll into a small rectangle. Roll up dough tightly, beginning on the long side. Roll gently back and forth to taper end. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Make deep diagonal slashes across loaf every 2 inches.  Cover again with loose towel, and let rise in a warm place for 30 to 40 minutes, or until doubled in bulk.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Brush egg white over top of loaf and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.  Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Adapted from AllRecipes.


  1. i've been wanting to try something with yeast ... i don't have a stand mixer with a dough hook, though ... that's my intimidation factor ... thoughts? or should i just save this for whenever i have my stand mixer ... makes me want some bread, thanks! haha. miss you cuz!

    1. You could absolutely do the kneading by hand- that's how people used to have to do it, after all! Just get the dough going in a bowl and once it starts to come together after you add the flour turn it out onto a floured surface and knead for about five mixer required!