24 Hour French Bread
Last updated 6/12/2012 12:41:32 AM. Recipe ID 348. Report a problem with this recipe.
Title: 24 hour french bread
Yield: 1 Servings
2 tb Active dry yeast
2 1/2 c Water (110-degrees)
7 1/2 c Bread flour to 8 cups
1 tb Salt
1 Egg white (for glaze)
1 tb Water (for glaze)
In large bowl of electric mixer, dissolve yeast in
2-1/2 c water. Add 2-1/2 to 3 c flour; stir 1 minute. Batter will
have consistency of soft pudding.
Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place, free
from drafts, overnight or at least 8 hours. The longer the sponge
ferments, the better the flavor will be.
The next day, stir in salt and 1 to 1-1/2 c of remaining flour. Beat
at medium speed with electric mixer 6 minutes, or beat 600 vigorous
strokes by hand. Stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Clean and lightly flour
bowl. Knead dough 15 to 20 minutes or until smooth, elastic, and no
Place dough in floured bowl. Dust surface lightly with flour; cover
with a slightly damp towel. Let rise in a warm place, free from
drafts, until tripled in bulk, about 1-1/2 hours.
Grease 2 large baking sheets or 4 French-bread pans.
Punch down dough. Knead 2 minutes. Cover and let rest
For oblong loaves, divide dough into 3 or 4 pieces, depending on
desired thickness of loaves.
On a lightly floured surface, shape each piece into a smooth log,
gently tapering ends. For round loaves, divide dough in half. Shape
each half into a smooth ball.
Place shaped dough on prepared baking sheets. Cover with a dry towel.
Let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Adjust oven racks to 2 lowest positions. Place a shallow roasting pan
on lowest shelf; pour in 2 c boiling water.
Preheat oven 15 minutes to 425-degrees.
Slash tops of oblong loaves with 5 diagonal slashes each. Slash tops
of each round loaf with 3 horizontal slashes and 3 vertical slashes
in a tic-tac-toe design.
Brush loaves with cold water.
Bake 15 minutes.
Brush loaves with egg-white glaze; bake 10 minutes longer.
Brush again with egg-white glaze. Remove roasting pan from oven.
Bake loaves 10 to 15 minutes longer, for a total of 35 to 40 minutes,
or until bread sounds hollow when tapped on bottom.
Remove from pans; place loaves directly on oven rack.
Bake 5 minutes longer. Cool on racks. Makes 2 to 4 loaves.
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