Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My favorite French bread

I don't share recipes on here much because it's primarily a sewing blog, but also because there are so many fabulous cooking sites out there already.  Although, I did make my favorite French bread yesterday and thought I'd pass the recipe along.  It's really enjoyable.  The recipe is from an elderly lady in my neighborhood growing up.  It's very iconic.  Everyone knew her for her fabulous bread.  Then she put her recipe in our church cookbook, and now we can all make her fabulous bread.  When my younger sister got married I gave her all the fixins, bowls, pan and measuring cups to make this bread as well as this recipe card I made. We're all pretty addicted. 

French Bread
2 TB yeast
½ cup warm water
2 cups hot tap water
½ cup sugar
1 TB salt
½ cup oil
6-7 cups sifted flour (I use bread flour)
1 egg white

Start yeast about 10 minutes before making bread.  Place yeast into 1/2 cup warm water; stir and allow to sit.  In large bowl, put  2 cups hot water, sugar, salt and oil.  Stir, then add 3 cups flour.  Mix.  Add yeast mixture and mix.  Add remaining flour 1 cup at a time.  More flour may be needed.  Let rise 10 minutes then stir down, repeat.  Stir down dough a total of six times.  Split dough into two equal sections.  Roll out each section of dough then roll up into a loaf.  Tuck ends and seams.  Brush with lightly beaten egg white.  Let rise approximately 30 minutes.  Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until golden brown. 

This bread is wonderful to eat just straight from the oven, and it also makes great cinnamon roll dough.  Here are a couple other ideas for it.  My mom introduced me to this honey butter recipe over Thanksgiving, and I love it.  I've been looking for a recipe like this for a long time.  The Cool Whip is the secret ingredient.  It's perfect on the bread.

Honey Butter
1 cup butter, softened
1 ½ cups honey
1 ½ cups Cool Whip

Whip all ingredients.  Refrigerate for up to a week.  

Finally, here is my real reason for making this bread.  I'm doing a breakfast with my siblings and their families who are in town Thursday morning.  I am making this absolutely amazing French toast with my bread.  My sister got this recipe from a B&B they stayed at years ago.  I haven't made this in a long time, but it's so good.  We're all getting excited for Thursday morning.

King William French Toast
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup butter
2 tablespoons corn syrup
6 eggs
2 cups milk
1 tablespoons vanilla
1 loaf French bread

Combine butter, sugar & corn syrup in a saucepan & mix well.  Heat until boiling and boil 1 minute, stirring constantly.   Pour into a 9x13 pan which has been sprayed with Pam.  Slice bread into 8 slices and arrange over syrup.  Combine eggs, milk and vanilla in blender for 15 seconds.  Pour over bread.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  Bake at 350°, uncovered, for 45 minutes.  Sprinkle with pecans and powdered sugar.

Completely ignore the fact that this recipe has no business being in the breakfast section of any cookbook.  It should probably be listed in the back with the desserts, but for some reason we all pretend that 6 eggs and some bread make it a breakfast dish.  Just enjoy!


  1. Thanks for sharing the recipes! They all look yummy!!

  2. I love bread, Thanks for the recipe :)

  3. Thanks for sharing, I've been lacking for a good French bread recipe. This one sounds awesome! :)

  4. I really enjoy the King William French Toast. A friend gave me that recipe last year and its so easy to put together!

  5. I'm SO excited to try this. I've been trying different recipes and for some reason still can't manage to get my dough to rise : \

    I'm going to give this one a shot!! : D

  6. Kati
    I just came across your blog and this recipe this morning and immediately made the french bread recipe. i just have one question... what is the dough supposed to resemble? I ended up having to put in about 8 cups of flour, because at 6 six it still looked like soup. And then when I went to roll it out the dough wobbled around like set jello. Did I do this right or
    should i have added more flour? I was just afraid that I would add to much flour and it would be too dry.
    thanks for any suggestions

  7. Can the French bread dough be made in the KitchenAid mixer? The French toast sounds somewhat like my Night's
    Before French toast but mine doesn't have a syrup. This one sounds even better. N