After my first attempt at French bread I knew that I needed to try a different recipe. I think I found a winner in this recipe! The bread is perfectly soft in the middle and has the baguette chewy crust that you want in a French bread. It was really easy to make and the only time consuming thing is that you have to punch the bread down and knead it every ten minutes for an hour. I started the bread first in dinner prep (I served Poulet Vallee d’Auge again for friends) so I was already in the kitchen when I needed to punch down the dough.
The dough itself, when properly mixed, is slightly sticky but not so sticky that it sticks to your hands when kneading. You want a good elasticity in the dough to get the airy center.
This definitely will be my go to bread for any French dinner that we have! Also I halved the recipe so that it made two loaves instead of four. For dinner for four people we only ate one loaf and for lunch the next day we made ham and swiss panini sandwiches with the leftover loaf. This bread works really well for a panini!