Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Crusty French Boules (Cooking Light)

I have to say that this month's Cooking Light magazine was the best issue yet this year. It had a ton of great recipes that I can't wait to try. One of the best things I found was the French Boules recipe. OK, I know what your thinking..."it can't possibly taste like the real thing!" Well your right it doesn't taste like the "real thing"'s even better! I kid you not when I say, that this loaf of bread disappears within a matter of a day in my house. My husband who isn't big on bread will take a huge slice, toast it, slap some butter and eats it as a snack.

I think that one of the best things about this bread is that while the crust is crisp and hearty, the inside is light and flavorful. The only down falls is that it takes a few days to prepare. However it truly is well worth the time. I've made this recipe 3 times already and it has now become my go to bread recipe.

If you do try this recipe I would love to here your input, and I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as my family and I have. Like always happy baking!


For the Pâte fermentée:
1 1/4 cups of AP flour, divided
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
Cooking spray

For the dough:
3/4 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 cups of AP flour
2/3 cup bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cornmeal


Prepare the pâte fermentée, by weighing 1 cup of AP flour into a dry measuring cup, and level with a knife. Combine flour, 1/2 teaspoon yeast, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment.

Add 1/2 cup warm water, and beat at low speed until mixture is thoroughly combined.

Add enough of the remaining 4 tablespoons flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough just begins to pull away from sides of bowl.

Increase mixer speed to medium, and beat for 2 minutes.

Place dough in a small bowl coated with cooking spray.

Place a piece of plastic wrap coated with cooking spray directly on dough. Refrigerate 48 hours or up to 3 days.

Once you're ready to bake your bread, remove pâte fermentée from refrigerator; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.

Next prepare the dough, by placing 3/4 cup warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attached, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon yeast.

Let mixture stand for 5 minutes or until bubbles form.

Add pâte fermentée to yeast mixture; let stand 10 minutes.

Spoon 2 cups flour, 2/3 cup of bread flour, and 1 teaspoon salt to bowl; beat at low speed until flour is incorporated.

Increase mixer to medium speed, and beat for 6 minutes. Dough will form a ball.

Place the dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray; lightly coat dough with cooking spray.

Cover with plastic wrap, and let stand in a warm, dry place, free from drafts, for 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size.

Punch dough down, and divide into 2 equal portions.

Knead each portion for 1 minute. Shape each dough portion into a 5-inch round by pulling the sides down, pinching and tucking them under the bottom center of dough, forming a smooth, taut surface on the top.

Place dough rounds on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Lightly coat surface of dough with cooking spray.

Cover and let rise 1 hour and 15 minutes or until doubled in size.

Place a small ovenproof saucepan with 3 inches of water directly on the floor of oven. Preheat oven to 450°.

Uncover dough. Spray dough lightly with water. Make 4 (4-inch) cuts 1/4 inch deep in dough to form a grid across top of each loaf using a sharp knife.

Bake at 450° for 10 minutes.

Remove water pan from oven.

Bake an additional 15 minutes or until bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when bottom is tapped.

Cool on a wire rack. Cut each boule, crosswise, into 12 slices.

Recipe source Cooking Light NOVEMBER 2011

Serves 24 (1 slice) Calories 82, Fat 0.3 Protein 2.5g CARB 17G, Fiber 0.6g

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