Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Champagne French Bread

I created this delicious champagne French bread for a dinner party. It is so good!

Champagne French Bread
Recipe Type: Yeast Bread, Champagne
Yields: 1 large loaf
Cook time: 25 minutes


1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F.)
1 cup champagne, warmed 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar

3 cups bread flour 3 teaspoons instant yeast (I use Red Star Instant Active Dry Yeast) Cornmeal (optional for dusting pan)
Poppy seeds (optional for top of loaf)

Cornstarch Glaze (see recipe below), optional

Place all ingredients except cornmeal in bread pan of your bread machine. Select dough setting and press start. Check the dough (don't be afraid to open the lid). It should form a nice elastic ball. If you think the dough is too moist, add additional flour (a tablespoon at a time). The same is true if the dough is looking dry and gnarly. Add warm water (a tablespoon at a time).
When dough cycle has finished, remove dough from pan and turn out onto a lightly oiled surface. (I use a nonstick cooking spray). Form dough into an oval, cover with a cotton towel and let rest for 10 minutes.
After resting, turn dough bottom side up and press to flatten. Fold dough into an envelope by folding the top 1/3 of the way to the bottom. Then fold the bottom a 1/3 of the way over the top. Then press dough with the palm of your hand to make an indentation down the center of the dough and fold the top completely to the bottom, sealing the seam with the palm of your hand. Place on a baking sheet dusted with cornmeal or covered with a silpad. Cover and place in a warm spot to rise, approximately 30 minutes or until dough has doubled.
Preheat oven to 375°F. After rising, slash the bread with a very sharp knife making three 1/2-inch deep diagonal slashes. Brush or spray the top of the bread with cold water and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until nicely browned. (A good check is to use an instant digital thermometer to test your bread. The temperature should be between 200 and 210 degrees.)
This is the type of thermometer that I use in my cooking.  I get many readers asking what cooking/meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking and baking. I, personally, use the RT600C Thermometer (show in the photo on the right). To learn more about this inexpensive excellent thermometer and to also purchase one (if you desire), just click on the underlined: RT600C Thermometer.
Makes 1 loaf.

CORNSTARCH GLAZE: NOTE: This is a typical mixture that professional bakers use to get that characteristic sheen on breads. I keep this mixture in my refrigerator to use on all the breads I bake.
1/2 cup cold water
1 teaspoon cornstarch.
In a small saucepan, with a small whisk, stir together water and cornstarch. Heat mixture to a gentle boil. Stir, reduce heat, until mixture thickens and is translucent. Cool. Brush on loaf about 10 minutes before baking is finished; top with poppy seeds (optional).

Source: whatscookingamerica.net

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