One-Hour French Bread

It's been a while since my last post as I've been out of town and busy with some moving plans. Fairly big news: we've decided to move from San Francisco to Portland! This wasn't exactly a sudden decision, we've been debating whether to stay in the bay area or possibly move to a new city for some time. Months of research, spreadsheets, the works.

So last week we were up in Portland visiting friends, exploring the city and just wanted to get a feel for it. And well, it didn't take long for us to realize that we really loved it, so much so that we postponed our flight, hit some craigslists ads, found an apartment and we are moving the end of this month. From a food blog perspective I am overjoyed with the prospect of being there. The food is really really good and there is a lot of it. We had a chance to visit one of the farmers markets at PSU and it was outstanding. Buckets and buckets of blueberries! I wish I had some photos to share but to be sure next month you will see some of that goodness on this blog.

I'll update more on the move, the kitchen, and the fabulous food in Portlandia in later posts, but I'm currently backlogged with recipes, photos and with more coming from some Portland inspiration, seriously the brunches! there was a lot of note taking going on and "I have to make this!"

I wanted to share this quick bread I made a couple weeks ago, if you're ever in a pinch needing a loaf a bread, this works really well. You won't get the nice crispy crust like the no-knead bread I made a while back, but it's definitely good and for fresh bread in 1 hour I'm not complaining. I'm resistant to call it French bread because other than the shape of the loaf (which mine came out a little odd) it's more like a regular loaf of bread, which is fine but not really french as you would expect. But it's super easy to put together and tastes just fine. Recipe below, enjoy.

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One-Hour French Bread

(adapted from Debi Rogers)

  • 3 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour (plus more for kneading)
  • 2 tablespoons rapid rise yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons honey, optional
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water, between 120 and 130 degrees F
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon water

Heat water (and honey if using) between 120-130° F

In a large bowl, stir together 3 1/2 cups flour, salt and yeast. Add hot water and honey.

Stir until a soft ball forms, adding more flour if necessary. Turn out on floured surface. Knead 3 - 5 minutes until dough springs back when pushed. Roll into 11" x 13" rectangle and divide in half.

Roll each half tightly lengthwise, seal seams and fold ends under. Place seam side down on parchment paper lined baking sheet, then cut diagonal slits in tops.

preheat oven to 425° F.

Spray loaves with oil, cover loosely with parchment or towel and let rise 20 minutes (or more if needed), until double in size. Beat water and egg white together and brush tops with egg wash.

Bake for 20-30 minutes until tops are brown. Loaves sound hollow when tapped.