A basic French bread recipe, moistened with a bit of oil and egg, and with herbs and garlic added. This bread is especially appropriate for late summer meals with salad, when the garden herbs are at their peak and you’re looking for things to do with them.
Makes: 3 baguettes, or the equivalent
Time: About 3.5 hours, largely unattended
- 4 cups King Arthur or other unbleached bread flour
- 3 teaspoons Fleishman’s jarred yeast
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 5 twists of fresh ground pepper from a mill
- 1 teaspoon dried or fresh oregano
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 3 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 4-5 large basil leaves, loosely chopped
- 3 tablespoons finely diced sweet red pepper
- 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes in oil
- 3 tablespoons canned artichokes, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh chives, loosely chopped
- 1.5 cups lager beer (1 12-ounce bottle)
- 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
- Mix all ingredients and place in a heavy kitchen mixer to start the kneading. With the right amount of water the flour should form a moist and sticky ball with some dough sticking to the mixer bowl, but the dough should not be very runny like a batter.
- Use mixer or bread machine until the dough is thoroughly mixed. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl and set aside for at least 2 hours for first rise.
- Gently knead down the risen dough and form into your preferred shapes.
- Use the Dutch oven baking method for the best results.
See my general notes on yeast bread baking for more information on what brands of ingredients and equipment I use. Also, I have notes on the Dutch-oven bread baking method that I usually use for this bread.