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Recipe for a good basic french bread

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I am a beginner bread baker and am looking for a good basic french bread recipe. I have Rose Levy Berenbaum's "The Bread Bible" but I'm finding her recipes to be a bit complex and I'm looking for something a bit simpler to get me started. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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  1. Julia Child has a very basic, easy to follow recipe in one of her early books, I forget which one but if you have access to a decent local library, I am sure you can hunt it down.

    1. Dear Deb,

      I know that Rose Levy Berenbaum is highly thought of, but I don't have any of her books, so I don't know how complicated her recipes are. The recipe I use, which I don't consider overly complicated (and hope you won't!) is the Pain à l'Ancienne from Peter Reinhart's "A Bread Baker's Companion". Reinhart gives you the option of baking the bread in other shapes if baguettes are too fiddly. I think the result is really delicious. Good luck!

      1. I've recently started doing a lot of bread baking myself and have found great recipes, as well as good tips at this website: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/