Whole Grain French/Italian Bread

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Whole Grain Italian-French Bread

Even though I have been irrefutably nominated the “Challah Maidel“, I am always searching for many different bread recipes to try out.  I am still a novice baker and have a lot to learn.  Having eaten and immensely enjoyed fresh French/Italian bread, I wanted to try making them myself. Since I’ve baked bagels, Naan bread, lavash bread, challah, and pizza on several occasions, I wasn’t anticipating any difficulties making Italian/French bread. But I was always curious to know the difference between French bread and Italian bread. While the flavors, ingredients, and method are similar,  their shapes set them apart. I discovered that French bread, or baguette, is long with rounded ends whereas Italian bread has a round shape. Either way, they have a rustic and crunchy exterior and a soft interior. They are delicious when freshly baked. It personally doesn’t make a difference to me as long as they are fresh. The picture above indicates a hybrid of both French and Italian bread. I did not bake this bread in a baking ban so it expanded a bit. I had the idea of using bread/pizza flour and embedding roasted garlic in this bread but I opted to the healthier version of using whole grain flour instead like I did. If you don’t have whole grain flour or multi-grain flour, you can use whole wheat flour, oat flour and spelt flour. This recipe would work with dark rye flour as well. French/Italian bread is the greatest, all-versatile bread you can make. It can be served at lunch or dinner. You can make delicious hoagies with it or turn it into pizza bread. Worried about leftovers going stale? Reserve them for making French toast, salad croutons, or bread pudding which I intend on doing if anyone will spare me any.  I can only hope………

For this recipe, you will need:

  1. 1 tablespoon of sugar
  2. 2 teaspoons of salt
  3. 1 tablespoon of active dry yeast
  4. 2 cups of warm water
  5. 1/4 cup of vegetable or canola oil
  6. 3 cups of whole wheat flour
  7. 3 cups of spelt flour
  8. 2 cups of oat flour


In large bowl, stir together sugar, salt, yeast, and water. Stir in oil. Mix in enough flour to make a soft dough that can be kneaded by hand. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8 minutes, adding more flour if necessary, until the dough is soft and not sticky. Place dough in greased medium bowl and flip dough over so that the top is also lightly greased. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let set for 30 minutes in a warm, draft-free place. Grease large baking sheet. Sprinkle baking sheet with coarse cornmeal, if desired. Remove dough from bowl onto lightly floured table and divide into 2 equal parts. Roll each dough half into a 15 X 9-inch rectangle. Tightly roll dough along the 15-inch side. Pinch seams and taper the ends of each loaf. Place loaves on baking sheet. Cover and let rise in warm, draft-free place for only 20 minutes. Preheat oven 425 degrees F. Make 3 deep diagonal slashes on each loaf. Bake bread for 20-25 minutes.  Turn oven off and leave bread in for another 5 minutes.

Yields 4 loaves




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