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JoAnn
Feb 17, 2011 9:08 AM CST
Name: Jo-Ann
Zone 9, New Orleans, LA
This is our all-time favorite bread. I've adapted it some from the original recipe by switching honey for the sugar. The original recipe called for 1 tablespoon of sugar. I guess we like our bread a little sweeter!

This make a big loaf. I make it in my bread machine on the dough setting. I transfer it a a large bread pan , 13", let it do a 2nd rise & then bake it.

And letting it rest overnight makes a tastier loaf then just letting it rest 4 hours.


Country Style French Bread

SPONGE STARTER
1 cup water - 90 - 100 degrees
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1/2 teaspoon yeast
DOUGH
1 cup water - 100 - 115 degrees
1/4 cup honey
3 3/4 cups bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon yeast


TO MAKE THE SPONGE: Using bread machine, stir all the ingredients together. Let rest overnight or at least 2-4 hours

TO MAKE THE DOUGH: Stir down the sponge. All add the dough ingredients in that order. Use the dough setting on the bead machine. Turn out the bread onto a floured surface, lightly knead. Turn into bread pan. Let rise until doubled. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Reduce to 425 degrees. Bake 20-25 minutes until one.

NOTES: Uses the sponge, or poolish, method: sort of a poor man's or woman's sourdough starter -- no feedings, little pre-planning, lots of flexibility and superb bread.

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