Its crisp-crunchy crust, perfect center and phenomenal flavor
makes this French Bread the only recipe you'll ever end up using!
That glistening crust is from the egg whites, not oil = healthier bonus...
Prep 20 Mins.
1st Rise Dough: 30 Mins.
Rolling: 10 Mins.
2nd Rise Loaf: 40 Mins.
Bake 40 Mins.
Cool Loaf: 20 Mins.
1 cup warm water
3 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus 1/2 teaspoon more for oiling bowl
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon table salt
--1 large egg, white only
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let proof/bloom for 10 minutes.
Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, flour and salt, and use the dough hook on low speed to beat until well blended. Increase the speed to medium, the let the stand mixer knead the dough about 8 to 10 minutes total. Shape into a ball. Wipe a large bowl with 1/2 teaspoon olive oil, place dough in the bowl, and turn once to ensure dough is completely but lightly coated. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
Place a silpat liner or parchment paper on a baking sheet; set aside.
Punch dough down and place onto working surface. DO NOT re-knead. Use a rolling pin to roll into a large rectangle (I DO NOT add flour, as the outer olive oil prevents sticking to the working surface and rolling pin).
Using fingers in a typewriter-fashion to roll into rectangle loaf, starting from a long side working to the opposite long end. Pinch to seal seam. Tuck tapered ends under.
Place loaf seam side down on prepared baking sheet. Lightly beat the egg white, the brush on top of loaf (reserve remainder for a second basting through mid-baking time).
Cover loaf with a clean kitchen towel. Let rise until doubled, about 40 minutes.
About 30 minutes into last rising, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
With a very sharp knife, make 4 diagonal cuts about 1/4" deep across top of each loaf. Bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes.
Brush again with egg white mixture, rotate baking sheet for even baking.
Bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until bread tests done. Remove loaf from baking sheet, and cool a minimum of 20 minutes on a wire rack covered loosely with a clean kitchen towel.
When loaf is rested, cut into 1/2" crosswise slices using a serrated knife. ~ Enjoy!