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Soft and Crusty French Bread at Home - Writer in the Kitchen

Today's recipe is all about one of the most delicious and simple of breads. French bread, with its crusty exterior and soft interior, makes for great eating on its own, as French toast (United States version), broiled or baked as garlic bread, for sandwiches, and much more. The rolls make wonderful soup or chili bowls, with the extra soft interior saved for soaking up broth.


Soft and Crusty French Bread at Home - Writer in the Kitchen - MK McClintock

The art of bread-making has been passed down through generations, with recipes and techniques evolving to reflect preferences. None of my characters would have made a bread exactly like this one because yeast wouldn't have been readily available. They would have used wild yeast, or sourdough, which can also be used in making French bread!


Sourdough or wild yeast really is my favorite way to leaven bread. I've included a link below to a recipe that uses sourdough starter instead of store-bought yeast.


Soft and Crusty French Bread at Home - Writer in the Kitchen - MK McClintock

The art of bread-making is deeply rooted in tradition and culture, with each region in France boasting its own time-honored methods and recipes (and only four ingredients). From the flour milling processes, water sources, scoring patterns on the crust to fermentation times, every step in the baking process is a reflection of different levels of expertise, regional ingredients, and the local culinary heritage. Despite these variations, one thing remains constant – the undeniable appeal of freshly baked French bread.


In every loaf, there lies a story,

Of hands that toil and hearts that mold.


Soft and Crusty French Bread at Home - Writer in the Kitchen - MK McClintock

My variation of French bread contains a fifth ingredient—stone ground flax seed. This is entirely optional, and an ingredient I add to many of my breads, including sourdough, multi-grain, dinner rolls, peasant bread, and yes, the French loaf or baguette. Otherwise, four ingredients is all you need. I also brush the tops with olive oil, which softens the crusty crust a tad.


Bread serves as a daily blessing that embodies the spirit of sharing and nourishment. Its presence at the table signifies not only sustenance for the body but also a connection to tradition and culture. As we break bread with others, we acknowledge the simple act of coming together to partake in a meal, creating bonds that transcend language and borders.


Soft and Crusty French Bread at Home - Writer in the Kitchen - MK McClintock

From ancient times, bread has sustained the weak,

A symbol of abundance, love, and care,

In every culture, it's the food we seek,

A daily blessing, always there to share.


You can download a printable PDF of the recipe here. The PDF includes the instructions for rolls.


For a recipe that uses sourdough starter (I haven't written mine down), try this recipe from Farmhouse on Boone.


Enjoy!

 

Book featured in the first image: The Case of the Copper King, a McKenzie Sisters Series novel. Also in the series is The Case of the Peculiar Inheritance by Samantha St. Claire.

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