We have a tradition at our house to make things every weekend we can easily heat and serve during a busy weeknight. Recently I adapted a delicious french bread recipe to make it possible to have a freshly baked loaf sufficient for a family of six from freezer to the table in 45 minutes with no more than a five minutes of extra work during dinner prep time.
3 Tbsp Yeast
2 Tbsp Sugar
¾ cup Water
10 cups Flour, bread or all-purpose (1200g), plus more for the rolling out
3 cups Hot Water
½ cup Oil
4 Tbsp Sugar
4 tsp Salt
1 Egg (for egg wash)
Makes 6 medium loaves.
In small bowl, put 3 Tbsp of yeast and 2 Tbsp of sugar into 3/4 cup of warm (100 degree F) water. Allow it yeast proof for 10 to 15 minutes until frothy.
In stand mixer, add ½ cup of oil, 3 cups of hot water, and 8 cups of flour. Then add 4 Tbsp of sugar and 4 tsp of salt and the yeast mixture. Mix until smooth, then add a little flour at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Make sure to clear the bottom of the mixing bowl to remove any stuck flour.
Split the dough into about 350g sections. You should have 6 loaves.
Roll out to a large sheet about 9” x 12” and then roll from one end to the other tightly. Place the edge on the bottom and tuck the ends under.
Using a sharp knife, slice 4 to 5 times diagonally across the top.
Place on a silicon mat and par-freeze. After the outside is somewhat frozen, wrap with plastic and then place in freezer bag.
To defrost bread:
Option 1 - Heat up your oven to 200 degrees F. Turn off the oven and thaw bread for 30 minutes until it is fully defrosted and risen. Brush with beaten egg wash.
Option 2 - Leave out in a warm place for 2 to 3 hours until it is proofed. Brush with beaten egg wash.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 mins to 18 mins. Throw a couple ice cubes into the bottom of the oven to create steam which will make the bread more crusty. Remove and allow to cool a bit before cutting with a sharp bread knife.