Saturday, February 24, 2024

French Bread In The Oven

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How To Toast Bread In The Oven

Legendary Alpine bakery with wood fired oven | Sourdough bread making in France

Wondering how to toast bread in the oven instead of a toaster?

I have a few easy oven methods you can use when you need to make a batch of toast for a crowd!

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Have you ever had a large group breakfast where you need to make enough toast to go around?

Since the toaster only makes two slices at a time, half the stack is cold by the time youre done with all the toasting.

Fortunately, I figured out how to make a big batch of toast all at once! There are a few ways to toast bread in the oven instead.

Keep reading for all the tips and tricks you can use to feed your brunch guests.

How To Make The Cuts

An iconic part of a French loaf is the scores on the top, which you make right before you bake. Not only do the cuts look nice, but they also help control how the bread expands. The best tool for the job is a bakers lame, which will help you make artisan cuts. If you dont have a lame, you could fashion one out of a stirring stick and double edge razor blade, or use a sharp, thin knife. Be sure the knife is very thin, otherwise it could deflate the bread.

What To Do With Stale French Bread

If youve got a rock-hard French bread, dont throw it out, there are lots of options.

Here are some ideas for turning your stale bread into something delicious.

  • Leave the baguette to dry out completely, and then chuck it into the food processor and turn it into bread crumbs.
  • Create crunchy croutons to add to a salad by slicing the baguette into little bite-size chunks. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and bake on a tray in the oven until theyre golden.
  • Combine little chunks of baguette with parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper, add some celery and chicken broth, then use as a tasty stuffing.
  • Serve it up as a delicious breakfast of French toast by soaking it in whisked eggs combined with cinnamon, vanilla, and a splash of milk. Fry the slices until theyre golden brown.
  • Make crostini by spreading a dollop of pesto on the bread and baking it in the oven.
  • Or go the dessert route and turn the french bread into a decadent bread pudding .

Who knew there were so many ways to use up old baguettes!

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What Is American French Bread

Its important to note before I tell you more about french bread that were talking about American french bread. Actual french bread is usually referring to a baguette which is longer and thinner than American french bread.

American french bread is a bit rounder and shorter with thinner crust while still being crusty. Its a soft bread that can be found in most grocery bakeries.

An Explanation Of This Method

Classic French Boule Bread in Dutch

The following recipe uses several techniques to produce a crusty hearth style French bread: a starter, an autolyze, a Dutch oven and a pizza stone.

What is a starter used for in bread baking a Starter consists of combining some or all of the flour and water in a bread recipe with a small amount of the total yeast amount. It is allowed to rest and ferment for a period of time. When it is added to the final dough it enhances the flavor and texture of the final loaf.

Why bake bread in a Dutch oven? A Dutch oven is a heavy cooking pot usually made of cast iron and equipped with a pair of handles and a tight-fitting lid. One of the most important elements of baking crusty bread is steam. Its essential to have steam during the beginning of the baking period. By using a covered Dutch oven , the all-important steam is trapped inside, surrounding the loaf.

Can you use a pizza stone to bake bread?- A pizza stone is a round baking stone made of fired clay. It generates high heat and absorbs moisture to create a crispy hearth-style crust. When we remove the bread from the Dutch oven, we use parchment to transfer it onto the stone and brown the loaf.

What happens during autolyze? Autolyze is a process in which the water and flour portion of the bread recipe are mixed and allowed to rest for about 10-20 minutes. During the resting period the flour becomes hydrated and enzyme activity begins. This simple process improves the overall quality of the breads structure, crumb and crust.

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Preheating The Oven And Steaming

Sometime after taking the dough out of the fridge, start preheating the oven to 500F, with a baking stone positioned in the upper part of the oven and a small bread pan with hot water and a rolled kitchen towel inside, on the lower rack. Position your baking stone such that the short side is parallel to the door. Water pan is needed for consistent steam release during baking to help the baguettes rise nicely in the oven and prevent surface hardening. The towel helps control steam release.

How Do You Heat Up French Bread With Butter

Making your French bread crispy can be done by simply warming it up in the oven in most cases however, there are some that may require special treatment.

And this treatment is butter if you spread butter on the top of the French bread before heating it, it is assured that the French bread will have a nice crust again.

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How To Reheat French Bread In A Toaster

So far weve only discussed the best methods to reheat the entire loaf of French bread.

However, if youd like to reheat slices of bread instead, using a toaster is the easiest, most effective way to get crispy, delicious bread each time.

Here are the steps to reheat French bread in a toaster:

  • Cut the baguette into slices.
  • Spread some butter on top of the slices if you want to add more flavor and aroma .
  • Add the slices into the toaster and choose the desired setting depending on how toasty you want the slices to get.
  • What Equipment Do I Need

    Martha Stewarts Heavenly Oven-Baked French Toast | Martha Bakes Recipes | Martha Stewart

    A stand mixer and baking pan are critical to the success of this recipe.

    Stand mixer: In a stand mixer, the dough kneads for 8 to 10 minutes to properly build enough gluten for these rolls. While you could theoretically knead by hand, it would be a significant arm workout, so keep that in mind!

    Baking pan: The dough best fits into an 8-inch by 8-inch square baking pan or a 9-inch round cake pan . You can also double the recipe to make a larger batch by using one 9-inch x 13-inch rectangular baking pan.

    A thermometer is optional but helpful for the tangzhong process.

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    Mixing The Dough And Stretch And Folds

    The first step is to mix all ingredients in a bowl and let sit for about 10 minutes, followed by 3 stretches and folds over a period of 1 1/2 hours, about every 30-45 minutes or so. In each stretch and fold iteration, pull one side of the dough and fold onto itself. At the end of each iteration, I pick up the dough ball and turn it upside down.

    Do this in a warm room to get yeast activity going, otherwise the dough will have a hard time rising in the fridge. Examine the surface of the dough before putting it in the fridge and look for tiny blisters and a slight sour milk smell. If you observe both, then the dough is ready to go in the fridge. If not, I let it sit at room temperature for another 1/2 to 1 hour.

    Freezing French Bread To Keep It From Going Stale

    If you love to eat fresh French bread, freezing it can help keep it fresh. You can bake it in your bread maker or in the oven, and then freeze it for later use. Then you can eat it when itâs room temperature or at least warm. Itâs an excellent idea to purchase artisanal loaves to save on the cost of a bakery visit.

    The best way to store bread is to store it at room temperature or in the freezer, as refrigerating it will cause it to go stale faster. The shelf life of packaged loaves from your local grocery store is three to seven days past their printed best-by date. However, bread stored in the refrigerator has a much shorter shelf life, and bakery-bought bread can go stale in as little as two to three days.

    Another option is to freeze sliced bread before storing it in the refrigerator. Breads with added fat take a longer time to go stale than those with no fat. However, baguettes go stale very quickly, so itâs best to eat them on the day they were baked. But if you must have bread immediately, you can thaw and then freeze it.

    After baking your bread, be sure to cover it to prevent it from drying out. It will also become very hard to slice if itâs left out for a day or two. Store it in a bread box or a large Ziploc bag. Wrap it tightly, as the air will dry out the breadâs crust. Alternatively, you can lightly toast the bread and store it in a plastic bag.

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    More Homemade Bread Recipes

    What You Can Do Now That You Have The Basic Bread Dough Recipe

    [homemade] Dutch oven French bread.

    Just the plain bread dough results in good fresh french bread but if you’d like to add in various ingredients, feel free to do so. There’s really no end to the kinds of bread you can make with this basic dough recipe.

    The variations all follow the basic bread method: mix the dough until you can achieve the appropriate elasticity, allow it to rise, punch it down, let it rest for 10 minutes or so, shape it, allow it to rise one last time, and bake it.

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    How To Reheat French Bread On The Stove

    While reheating your baguette on the stove may sound a bit counterintuitive, you may be surprised with the results of this reheating method.

    Once again, the key lies in wrapping the loaf in a piece of aluminum foil, which prevents the bread from drying out before the inside gets warm enough.

    Also, you will need a source of moisture to keep the bread from drying, so it is recommended to sprinkle or spray some water on the loaf.

    This method is also a great solution if your microwaved bread came out with a soggy crust, and you want to get the outside layer crispy and toasted.

    All you need to do in this situation is cook the baguette on a non-stick pan for a couple of minutes, or until youre satisfied with the level of crispiness.

    Here are the steps to reheat French bread on the stove:

  • Grab a pan large enough to fit the baguette, or portions of it, and prepare the lid.
  • Dampen the bread with some water, then wrap it in a piece of aluminum foil.
  • Place the wrapped bread in the pot, then cover the pan with the lid.
  • Heat the loaf for 10 minutes on low heat, or until the bread has reached the desired temperature.
  • Take the bread out of the foil, and toast it directly on the pan for a couple of minutes to get a nice crust.
  • How To Bake Crusty French Bread Using Your Dutch Oven

    Have you ever visited an artisan bread bakery and admired the beautiful, golden brown, crusty loaves of bread?

    Imagine baking bread like that at home with little or no previous bread-baking experience!

    I will show you how to make great artisan bread at home using a cast iron pot with a lid and a pizza stone. This recipe makes two small round loaves or one large one. Youll be amazed at how simple it is to make homemade authentic crusty French bread with my method that combines a Dutch oven, a starter and a pizza stone.

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    How To Reheat French Bread In A Toaster Oven

    A toaster oven is essentially a mini oven that will give you the same results, but also save you a lot of time and effort.

    This kind of oven usually takes less time to preheat, and it doesnt make your kitchen too hot, which is particularly important during summertime.

    Wed also recommend dampening and wrapping the French bread if youre reheating it in a toaster oven, as it is the best way to prevent the bread from drying out and developing a chewy, hard crust.

    Here are the steps to reheat French bread in a toaster oven:

  • Preheat your toaster oven to 350°F.
  • Slightly dampen the loaf , making sure youre not using too much water.
  • Wrap the baguette in aluminum foil and place it into the preheated toaster oven.
  • Bake the bread for 5-10 minutes.
  • Remove the foil and bake for additional 2-3 minutes to allow the crust to become golden and crispy.
  • How To Soften Butter:

    How to Make the Best French Bread Pizza in the Toaster Oven

    This cheesy garlic butter recipe requires that you mix the butter with the seasonings and cheese. In order to do that well youll need to soften your butter. Dont fall prey to the temptation of microwaving the whole stick of butter! If you must microwave, cut the stick into smaller pieces and microwave 5 seconds at a time so you dont melt the butter.

    There is, however, a super easy way to soften a stick of butter. If you can remember to think ahead just pull your stick of butter out of the fridge and put it on the counter. Then turn a glass over on top of it. The heat trapped inside the glass will quickly soften the butter. Its not nearly as quick as the microwave but works very well and you dont have to worry about the butter melting.

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    How Do You Soften A Loaf Of French Bread

    Eventhough it may sound ironic, softening a lot of French bread requires the same procedure as making it crispy again. Thats because both of these inconveniences are the result of the French bread not being fresh.

    So what do you need to do? Its easy, just preheat your oven for 325 °F and place the bread in there for something like a quarter an hour. After that, your French bread will not only once again have a crispy crust but also be soft inside.

    How To Tell If Your Bread Is Bad

    An expired toast

    Although reheating frozen bread is an effective way to save money, you still need to pay attention to their condition.

    Just because baguette slices are dry and chewy doesnt mean theyve gone bad. Technically, you can still consume these baguettes.

    Reheating them properly will make the taste much better and regain the texture of the baguettes. We talked about the five methods above.

    There are signs that your cake has spoiled and is no longer edible. Consuming moldy bread is dangerous to your health.

    Some notable signs are:

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    How To Reheat French Bread In The Oven

    The best way to heat up a baguette is certainly to use the oven and we sure know just how time-consuming it can be to wait for it to reach a certain temperature.

    However, if youre warming up a frozen baguette, waiting for the oven to preheat wont be too much of a hassle as youll have to wait for the bread to defrost at room temperature, as well.

    If properly prepared, the bread will remain soft on the inside, while developing a golden crust on the outside.

    The reason why you should slightly dampen the loaf is to lock in the moisture and prevent the bread from becoming dry and crumbly.

    Also, the water from the bread will evaporate and create steam that will also prevent the bread from drying.

    The aluminum foil wrapped around the loaf will also ensure that the bread doesnt dry out while the inside gets warmed up.

    Finally, by removing the foil, you will allow the crust to get golden and crispy as youve just baked a fresh loaf of French bread.

    Here are the steps to reheat French bread in the oven:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Slightly dampen the loaf using a spray bottle filled with water.
  • Wrap the baguette in a piece of aluminum foil.
  • Place the wrapped loaf directly on top of the oven rack.
  • Bake for 5-10 minutes to allow the inside of the loaf to get warmed up.
  • Remove the foil and bake the French bread for another 2 minutes to get a crispy crust.
  • How To Reheat French Bread In The Oven:

    Easy Crusty French Bread (VIDEO)
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F .
  • Wet your baguette by spraying water over the crust or holding it under a running tap.
  • Wrap the baguette in foil.
  • Place your baguette inside the oven on a wire rack.
  • Heat it for 5-10 minutes.
  • Open up the foil to allow the baguette 2 minutes to crisp on the outside.
  • Dont be afraid to get your baguette wet.

    The moisture will turn to steam in the oven which will help soften the bread.

    There is no chance of your baguette coming out soggy .

    Another option is to place the baguette in a wet paper bag.

    Or to place a tray filled with water into the oven while its preheating to create a steam oven.

    You can then set the bread directly on the oven rack with no foil.

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