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ISO great authentic french bread dough recipe

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I'm attempting to make some great crusty yet chewy french bread at home... any good recipes out there to start from?

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  1. Get yourself a copy of Peter Reinhart's "The Bread Baker's Apprentice".

      1. re: Food Tyrant

        I've only read reviews, but I think Hamelmans book may not be a good starting point for a novice. Tuttifrutti, if by french bread you mean baguettes, I suggest the Cooks Illustrated recipe, which is a little less complicated than some and has nice pictures showing how to shape the loaves and such. I believe it's in both the Baking and "Best Recipes" cookbooks.

        There are lots of really bad recipes out there, especially the very easy ones. You should only consider recipes that call for small amounts of yeast (teaspoons, not tablespoons), a pre-ferment, and long, slow rises including a cold rise (retard) in the fridge. Maybe you can skip the retard your first try or two, since it does add a lot of time to the process, but once you have the other skills down, include it.

        1. re: Zeldog

          Thank you for the helpful post! Will search for it...

      2. You can get an introductory membership to their website if you like. Probably can find the recipe there.

        http://www.cooksillustrated.com/