Easy French Bread

Easiest French bread *vegan!

There is nothing else like homemade French bread. Slathered in vegan butter I could eat an entire loaf all to myself. This bread has a crispy outside and fluffy soft inside. It takes a few hours to make but most of it is waiting for the bread to rise and the payout is worth it. It yields 2 large loaves, one for now and one for later!

*As of yet I have not had any success turning this recipe gluten free. It comes out hard like a rock! But if you skip the egg and milk mixture coating like I do it’s vegan. I spread my favorite dairy alternative butter on the slices, and it is divine!

2 pkg dry yeast (2 tablespoons)

½ cup warm water

2 tablespoons sugar + ½ tsp sugar

2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil

2 tsp salt

2 cups boiling water

7 ½ -8 cups all purpose flour

Optional for brushing on the loaves:

1 egg beaten

2 tablespoons milk

In a small bowl dissolve together the yeast, ½ cup warm water and ½ tsp sugar. If the water is too hot it will kill the yeast. I use water that’s a temperature I would bathe a toddler or a dog in. Set aside and it should become bubbly and foamy by the time you go to use it. In a large bowl combine the 2 tablespoons sugar, oil, salt, and 2 cups boiling water. Mix well and wait until it comes down to lukewarm. After it has cooled, combine the yeast mixture into the water and olive oil mixture. Slowly add in the flour, stirring until it is kneadable. Knead for about 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place in an oiled bowl (so the dough doesn’t stick to the bowl as it rises) and cover with a clean towel. Wait until it has doubled in size and then punch the dough down which is about a half hour. Wait 15 more minutes. Separate and form into two loaves and place on a large, flat, oiled or parchment lined baking sheet. I like to take a non-serrated knife and slice 4-5 notches diagonally into the loaf purely for aesthetic purposes. Let rise until doubled again. You can take the egg and milk mixture and brush it generously on the loaves at this point, but it is not necessary. Obviously omit the milk mixture if you want it vegan. I instead usually just rub a butter alternative on the warm loaf after it’s out of the oven. Place in the oven at 400 degrees F. for 20 minutes. Wait until cooled to dig into. (If you cut it too soon the warm bread will stick together, and you’ll lose some of the fluffiness.) If they are wrapped up well the loaves can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.

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