Stirred French bread
I love this French bread recipe because it is stirred instead of kneaded, so you don't need any special equipment to make it. Also, it keeps you in the kitchen every ten minutes to stir it, so I almost always end up with a clean kitchen while I'm waiting. I use a pan like this to raise and bake my loaves, but I think a plain baking sheet would also give very nice results.
I have adapted this recipe from this one, which I recommend highly! The changes I have made are to make it 1/3 whole wheat and to add slightly more water to compensate for the whole wheat flour. I would like to figure out 100% whole wheat some day, but so far my experiments have not come out too well. I'll stick with the 1/3 whole wheat for now.
And for those who asked, here is the link to the peanut butter granola recipe that I use. I find it a little too sweet, but everyone else in my family loves it.
Stirred French bread
2 1/2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons yeast
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 cups whole wheat flour
4 cups white flour
Mix together the first five ingredients. (If using instant yeast, wait and add with the flour.) Add 2 cups whole wheat flour and 1 cup white flour and stir well. Add remaining flour and stir until fully incorporated. If you need to use your hands to incorporate the rest of the flour, go ahead.
Set a 50-minute timer (or a 10-minute timer 5 times) and stir your bread dough every ten minutes. I find I'm usually beating and punching down the dough with a spoon rather than stirring it.
Grease your baking sheet. Divide bread dough into two pieces and shape into long, thin loaves on a floured surface. Transfer to baking sheet. Cover and let rise until double, about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Right before you put the bread into the oven, beat the egg with about a tablespoon of water and brush over the loaves. Sprinkle the loaves generously with sesame seed (this is optional but it smells so fabulous when it comes out of the oven that I would highly recommend it). Slash each loaf three or four times with a sharp knife.
Bake 30 minutes.
Here are some of our favorite dinners to eat with a loaf of French bread.