Tuesday, March 21, 2017

National French Bread Day is enjoyed by millions across the United States each year on March 21st.

French bread, also known as a baguette, is a long thin loaf made from basic lean dough. It is defined by its length and its crisp crust. Over time, French law has established what is and what is not a baguette.  Beginning in 1920 a labor law prevented bakers from starting their day before 4 a.m.  Bakers adjusted by shaping their loaves of bread, so they baked more quickly and evenly.  As a result, the long, narrow loaves were found to be convenient for slicing and storing. 


The French are known for their high standards where culinary arts are concerned.  To preserve quality in their bread, laws were passed requiring minimum quantities of certain quality ingredients in each loaf of bread.


2¼ cups water 2T margarine or butter
1T sugar 3 cups flour plus 3¼ to ¾ cupsT
1T salt 2T yeast
Mix water and margerine or butter in saucepan and heat to 120°. Mix 3 cups flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Add liquid mixture. Slowly add remaining flour until you have a dough that can be kneaded. Set aside, covered and let rise until doubled in size. Divide in half. Roll each half into a rectangle. Roll into a loaf and with a sharp knife cut three slashes in the top. Cover and let rise. Make an egg wash from 1 egg and water. Brush across the top of each loaf and bake in a 375° oven for 20 minutes. Suggested toppings: sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds or toasted onion or garlic.

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