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French Bread (easy)

What you need: 

1 tablespoon shortening
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups water, divided
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
5-6 cups flour, divided
olive oil, as needed

What you do: 

1. In mixing bowl, cover shortening, vegan sugar and salt with 3/4 cup boiling water. Once shortening is melted, add another 3/4 cup cold/room temperature water.
2. Meanwhile, mix yeast with 1/2 cup water (113 degrees F). Allow to sit for approximately 3 minutes, stir to dissolve, then add to bowl.
3. Add 5 cups flour, and mix until a nice stiff dough is produced (about 4 minutes), adding flour as required. I use a dough hook, and find it makes the baker's life much easier.
3. Put dough in greased bowl and allow to double in bulk. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Punch down and divide into 2 portions. Form into loaves and place on cookie sheet. Allow to rise until doubled again.
4. After rising, make either 4 crosswise slashes per loaf or 1 horizontal slash the length of the loaf. For a really nice effect, put 1 teaspoon olive oil in the horizontal slash before baking. Bake for 25-35 minutes until golden.
This recipe is excellent for days when you might get home a little early from work, and you can start the vegan bread before dinner. My wife and I have this at least once per week with dinner; there is nothing like piping hot fresh bread with soup, chilli, or chowder!

Preparation Time: 
Cooking Time: 
Servings: 
2
Recipe Category: 

SO HOW'D IT GO?

We really love this bread! Used agave nectar instead of sugar and earth balance instead of shortening and it turned out great. This will be a staple in our household. Thank you!

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mine came out a lil flat - didn't rise enough? oh well still VERY YUMMY and was also my first time doing bread!! thanks!!!

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This is good and easy! I used whole wheat pastry flour and whole wheat flour. My breads always seem to come out the same..somehow (multiple recipes). They all taste great...but don't come out as different types of bread (like this one was not very much like French bread). I don't know what this means..good though!  :)

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This bread is amazing, I make it twice a week and I never buy bread from the store!  I add 1 tablespoon of molasses to the shortening/water mixture and I also use half regular unbleached flour and half whole wheat.  I usually throw in some ground flaxseed too.  I may try using it for buns...

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I liked this recipe.  I didn't completely follow it, though.  I halved it, only let it rise once, and cooked it in a small pie tin (it's the best I could do!).  Also, my sad oven only goes up to 200C, so I couldn't cook at 210C.  It was good though.  I bet it'd have been even better if I'd have followed the recipe!

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This is a fantastic bread recipe! Totally easy and Deee-licious! I baked an experimental loaf this afternoon, slathered it with Earth Balance while the bread was still hot from the oven, and marvelled at my bread making abilities! Thank you, thank you, thank you for this recipe!

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This is probably one of the better, if not best, bread recipes I've made (*I'm new to bread-making). The second time around I added rosemary to the batter (ok, not exactly French, but whatever), but there's one problem... whenever I made this bread (or any white-flour bread), it's not smooth, and has an outside texture of a scone (rough). I don't really care about it, but it makes it look a lot less like French bread and more like ciabatta or something; does anyone know how to get it smooth like baypuppy's photo?

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I made this with whole what flour and oil instead of shortening. I made about 10 rolls out of it and cooked it in the microwave (since I live in the dorms and we can't have toaster ovens...) and it turned out delicious! The only problem was that the rolls were a bit soggy on the bottom, but now my room smells like fresh bread... :)

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This bread is so good, and so easy. It's time consuming because you have to let it rise twice, but it's worth it. I used 5 cups of flour, but I think I should have used more, because my dough was really, really sticky (like taffy that had melted in the sun). But even with that, it came out delicious. Thanks for posting this.

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i used some earthbalance. turned out nice. i also braided my loaf, that is why it looks (how i would call) cool!  8)

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