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Fabulous French Bread

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  • 2 tablespoons Yeast ; (2 packages)
  • 1/2 cup Warm water
  • 2 cups Hot water
  • 3 tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Salt
  • 5 tablespoons Shortening ; melted (or vegetable oil)
  • 6 cups All purpose flour ; unsifted
  • 3 Egg whites ; beaten
  • 1/2 cups Sesame seeds ; optional


Dissolve yeast in warm water. In a large bowl, combine hot water, sugar, salt, shortening, and 1/2 (3 cups) of the flour. Beat well with wooden spoon, or in a large mixer using a dough hook attachment. Stir in dissolved yeast. Add remaining 3 cups of flour, mixing well until blended.

Leave spoon/dough hook in batter, allowing dough to rest for 10 minutes. Stir again vigorously, allowing dough to rest another 10 minutes. Repeat until dough has been stirred 5 times.

On floured board, turn out dough and knead once or twice until it is lightly covered with flour. Divide dough in half. Roll each half into rectangles, about 9×12 inches. Starting at the long edge, roll loosely, like a jelly roll, sealing the edge.

Place roll, lengthwise, seam down on a large baking sheet, arranging so both loaves will fit on one sheet.

Gash top of each loaf diagonally with sharp knife, 3-4 times, then brush with beaten egg white and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Allow loaves to rise 30 minutes. Bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes, or until golden brown.

Seeded loaf

This seeded bread is based on a French baguette dough, with a mix of dry-roasted seeds added (poppy, millet, linseed, sesame. ).

Delicious on its own, this bread makes excellent toast to go with foie gras, adding an amazing complementary crunch.

Last modified on: October 24 th 2017

  • 1 50 g sesame seeds
  • 2 50 g linseed
  • 3 50 g poppy seeds
  • 4 50 g millet
  • 5 200 ml water
  • 6 1 kg plain white flour (French Type 65)
  • 7 18 g salt
  • 8 250 g leaven
  • 9 7 g yeast
  • 10 600 g water
  • Total weight: 2,275 grams

Time required for this recipe:

Preparation Resting Cooking Start to finish
47 min. 2 hours 50 min. 50 min. 4 hours 27 min.
  • When will I finish if I start the recipe at . ?
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Step by step recipe

Stage 1 – 5 min.

Preheat the oven to 360°F (180°C).

Mix 50 g sesame seeds, 50 g linseed, 50 g poppy seeds and 50 g millet (see below for more about seeds).

Stage 2 – 1 min.
Stage 3 – 20 min.

Lay a sheet of cooking parchment on a baking sheet and spread out the seeds evenly on this.

Put in the oven for 20 minutes to dry roast.

Stage 4 – 1 min.
Stage 5 – 2 min.

As soon as you take the seeds out of the oven, tip them into the water. The paper is useful for this.

Stage 6

Leave the seeds to absorb the water while you make the bread dough.

You will see that the weight of water is the same as the weight of seeds.

Stage 7

In bread-making, the water temperature is always important. It’s not a fixed value, but related to 3 other temperatures: 1) the temperature of your flour, 2) the room temperature in your kitchen, and 3) the basic temperature of this recipe, which is 56-60°C.

You can calculate the temperature of the water for this recipe in one click, using this small calculator.

Stage 8 – 20 min.

Put into a food-processor bowl: 1 kg plain white flour (French Type 65), 18 g salt, 250 g leaven, 7 g yeast and 600 g water.

Knead on slow speed for 18 minutes or, to be more precise, check for the gluten membrane using the window-pane test (see how in this video).

Stage 9 – 1 min.
Stage 10 – 3 min.

Knead for a few more minutes, just to mix the seeds in.

Stage 11 – 1 hour 30 min.

Gather the dough into a ball and transfer to a clean bowl, cover with a plastic sheet and leave to rest for 1 hour 30 minutes.

Stage 12 – 5 min.
Stage 13 – 3 min.
Stage 14 – 20 min.

. and cover with a plastic sheet.

Leave to rest for 20 minutes.

Stage 15 – 1 min.

Prepare your proving baskets (bannetons), if you have them, by scattering a tablespoonful of seeds in the bottom.

Stage 16 – 5 min.

Shape your loaves (see how to do it in this video), and place in the baskets with the “seam” on top (they will be turned the other way up to cook).

Stage 17 – 1 hour
Stage 18 – 30 min.

Preheat the oven to 460°F (240°C) then bake the loaves for about 30-40 minutes, after slashing the tops.

Note: As when baking any bread, you should ensure that the oven is filled with steam for the first 15 minutes of baking. This page shows you how; it really is the secret of golden-brown, crusty loaves..

Stage 19

Feel free to use different seeds in the mixture, either as replacements or in addition: pumpkin seeds, dark or light linseeds, oats, etc., but do try to keep to the proportion of 200g of seeds per kilogram (approx. 2 lb) of flour.

Whole recipe
Energetic value Proteins Carbohydrates Fats
4,653 Kcal or 19,481 Kj 148 gr 899 gr 86 gr
233 % 57 % 85 % 13 %
Per 100 g
Energetic value Proteins Carbohydrates Fats
205 Kcal or 858 Kj 7 gr 40 gr 4 gr
10 % 3 % 4 % 1 %
Per loaf
Energetic value Proteins Carbohydrates Fats
2,327 Kcal or 9,743 Kj 74 gr 450 gr 43 gr
116 % 28 % 42 % 7 %

% are calculated relative to a Recommended Dietary Intake or RDI of 2000 k-calories or 8400 k-joules by day for a woman (change to a man).

Plain white flour (French Type 65): You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Mixed seed grissini, Olive and pesto bread, Jura bread, Benoîton, Classic French white bread, . All
Leaven: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: French baguettes, Saucipain, Yeast-based flaky dough (for croissants), Leavened bread, Pizza dough, . All
Water: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Hazelnut and orange cake, Citrus crunch, Ali Baba bread, How to rehydrate dried mushrooms, Leavened bread, . All
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