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French Bread

Looking for the perfect shaped French bread loaf, but don't want to spend a bunch of money on a fancy French bread pan? Then we have the perfect solution - make your own for under $4!

FrenchBread_Pan1

From your grocery store purchase a foil oven tray/liner, usually they come in packs of 2 or 3 for under $5. Poke 1/4" holes all over the tray - the more the better. Use a wine bottle to shape the tray into a semi-circle. Flattening the bottom so it won't roll.FrenchBread_Pan2

Once you prepare the French Bread recipe and have let it rise, place the dough onto a piece of parchment paper and shape into a log (no longer than the foil tray you just shaped). Since gluten free dough's don't have enough elasticity to stretch, thereby smoothing their tops naturally as they bake and rise in the oven, you must do it by smoothing the surface with wet hands before baking.FrenchBread_Pan4

To create the perfect oven conditions to bake the bread (since steam is needed to create its crusty exterior), follow the directions in the recipe linked above, or use the set up shown below: preheat a baking stone or large baking sheet along with 4 ramekins filled with water (the ramekins also help to keep the tray from rolling if it's not perfectly flat on the bottom) at 450°F for 30 minutes. FrenchBread_Pan2b

Pick up the parchment paper with the dough inside and place it inside the foil tray you made, cut off any excess parchment that extends beyond the tray so it doesn't burn. Give a light mist of water over the dough's surface and place in oven. I will lightly mist again after 15 minutes. FrenchBread_Pan5

Bake for about 30 minutes then check the bread. Once the crust has formed and can hold its shape, remove the foil tray and place the bread directly on the baking stone. This will allow more heat to penetrate and speed up the baking time (this wouldn't be necessary with a real French bread pan, since those pans are completely perforated and are excellent heat conductors). After another 10 minutes, use an instant read thermometer to check the internal temperature of the bread. Once it reaches between 200°F-208°F, it's done!FrenchBread_Pan6

French Bread
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Serves: 12
Instructions
  1. Follow the directions in the recipe above to make the dough.
  2. To make the French bread pan - from your grocery store purchase a foil oven tray/liner, usually they come in packs of 2 or 3 for under $5. Poke ¼" holes all over the tray - the more the better. Use a wine bottle to shape the tray into a semi-circle. Flattening the bottom so it won't roll.
  3. Once the dough has risen, place onto a piece of parchment paper and shape into a log (no longer than the foil tray you just shaped). Smooth the top with wet hands.
  4. To create the perfect oven conditions to bake the bread (since steam is needed to create its crusty exterior), follow the directions in the recipe linked above, or use the set up shown below: preheat a baking stone or large baking sheet along with 4 ramekins filled with water (the ramekins also help to keep the tray from rolling if it's not perfectly flat on the bottom) at 450°F for 30 minutes.
  5. Pick up the parchment paper with the dough inside and place it inside the foil tray you made, cut off any excess parchment that extends beyond the tray so it doesn't burn. Give a light mist of water over the dough's surface and place in oven. Lightly mist again after 15 minutes of baking.
  6. Bake for about 30 minutes then check the bread. Once the crust has formed and can hold its shape, remove the foil tray and place the bread directly on the baking stone. This will allow more heat to penetrate and speed up the baking time (this wouldn't be necessary with a real French bread pan, since those pans are completely perforated and are excellent heat conductors).
  7. After another 10 minutes, use an instant read thermometer to check the internal temperature of the bread. Once it reaches between 200°F-208°F, it's done!

 

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