Classic French white bread

Step by step recipe:

  1. 5 min.Classic French white bread : Photo of step #1
    Put into a food-processor bowl: 1 kg plain white flour (French Type 65), 18 g fine (or table) salt, 15 g yeast and, if possible, 100 g Soured dough.
  2. Classic French white bread : Photo of step #2
    In bread-making, the water temperature is always important. It's not a fixed value, but related to 3 other temperatures: 1) the temperature of your flour, 2) the room temperature in your kitchen, and 3) the basic temperature of this recipe, which is 48-52°C.

    You can calculate the temperature of the water for this recipe in one click, using this small calculator.
  3. 3 min.Classic French white bread : Photo of step #3
    Add 620 ml water at the right temperature, then knead on the slowest speed until the ingredients are well mixed (about 3 minutes).

    Note: For the best way to knead, see: A few tips for effective kneading at home.
  4. 15 min.Classic French white bread : Photo of step #4
    Knead a little faster (the next speed up) for around 15 minutes, until the dough temperature reaches 24°C (75°F).

    You could also chech the dough by trying the window-pane test.
  5. 2 min.Classic French white bread : Photo of step #5
    Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured worktop.
  6. 15 min.Classic French white bread : Photo of step #6
    Gather the dough into a ball and transfer to a large, clean bowl. Cover with a sheet of plastic.

    Leave to rest for 15 minutes.
  7. 5 min.Classic French white bread : Photo of step #7
    After this time, tip the dough onto a lightly floured worktop and cut into pieces of about 500g each.
  8. Classic French white bread : Photo of step #8
    You can weigh each piece to check, as it is not easy to do this by eye.

    Note: using the quantities stated, you can expect to obtain 1750 g of dough, to divide up as you choose.
  9. 5 min.Classic French white bread : Photo of step #9
    Form each piece of dough into a ball.

    As the gesture for doing this is difficult to describe, you can see it in the short video on the right.
  10. 15 min.Classic French white bread : Photo of step #10
    Place the balls of dough on the floured worktop, dust the tops with flour and cover with a sheet of plastic.

    Leave to rest for 15 minutes. This allows the dough to "relax".
  11. 5 min.Classic French white bread : Photo of step #11
    Shape the loaves.

    As the gesture for doing this is difficult to describe, you can see how it is done in the short video on the right.
  12. 2 hoursClassic French white bread : Photo of step #12
    Place each loaf in a banneton (French raising basket), dusting the bottom generously with flour first.

    Cover with a sheet of plastic and leave to rise for 2 hours.
  13. 40 min.Classic French white bread : Photo of step #13
    Preheat the oven to 240°C (460°F).

    Turn the loaves over onto the peel (for a wood-fired oven) or onto a baking sheet (for a conventional oven), slash the tops and bake...
  14. Classic French white bread : Photo of step #14
    ...for 30 to 40 minutes.

    Note: As when baking any bread, you should ensure that the oven is filled with steam for the first 15 minutes of baking. This page shows you how; it really is the secret of golden-brown, crusty loaves..
  15. Classic French white bread : Photo of step #15
    You will notice how the holes in the bread are regular in size. This comes from the action of the yeast which, unlike leaven, produces even bubbles.

Remarks:

You might also like to take a look at this page about making your own bread.

Source:

After Thomas Marie (of the INBP French National Bakery Institute).

Grade this recipe

Grade this recipe

More recipes?

This recipe use (among others)