French Country Bread Recipe Reviews - Allrecipes.com (Pg. 2)
Reviewed: Oct. 27, 2009
I made this because the overnight starter appealed to me. I like the more fermented flavor it gives to a loaf. I didn't have any whole wheat flour, so I used a combo of bread and all purpose. Based on other reviewers having to add more flour, I decided to decrease the water in the main dough to 1 cup and I added a tsp of honey. I still had to use an additional 1/2 cup of flour. The bread was wonderful and the flavor was certainly better than ones I've tried without the overnight starter. It rose beautifully, had a light, soft crumb and a nice crust. If I had used whole wheat flour, I probably would have added a Tbsp of molassas to deepen the color and add another layer of flavor to it. Good bread. I'll make this again. Thanks Stephen.
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Photo by Susan

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Living In: San Jose, California, USA

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Reviewed: Oct. 15, 2009
Great bread. I follow the recipe but before all the flour is mixed in I add some chopped kalamata olives and some rough chopped fresh garlic cloves about 1/4-1/3 cup each. Then add as much flour as to make a nice dough. When I put loaves in the oven I toss 2-3 Tblsp of water in the bottom of the oven to give them a nice crispy crust. Great bread for dipping in a seasoned olive oil.
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Reviewed: Sep. 18, 2009
I didn't think this needed more salt. The flavor is derived from the sponge and it is excellent. I'm wondering if there is an error in the ingredient list however. The instructions call for all the flour to be added, then say add the rest of the flour 1/2 cup at a time. Since It produced such a very wet. loose dough I added an additional 1 cup of bread flour and 1/2 cup of WW to maintain the proportions. I still had a very wet dough, but I was able to work with it. It smelled great while baking, has a beautiful, rustic crumb and a crunchy, chewy crust. I threw 4 ice cubes in my oven to help crisp the crust. Thank you for a very nice bread.
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Photo by BigShotsMom

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Long Island, New York, USA
Living In: Long Beach, New York, USA
Photo by Doughgirl8
Reviewed: Sep. 14, 2009
I loved this recipe. Seattle has great bakeries so I almost never bake my own bread, but if I lived in the middle of nowhere, this might be the recipe I'd use for everyday bread. It had a wonderful spongy texture, mild flavor, and chewy crust. I made the starter the night before, made the dough, and then—because I didn't have time to bake that night—I shaped the loaves and let them rest overnight in the refrigerator and baked them the next morning. The loaves got very slightly overproofed, but it was worth it for the convenience factor. I used whole wheat pastry flour, which is all I had at home, and the result was an almost-white bread that would be great for sandwiches (our bread got eaten too fast to try it with anything fancier than butter); it kept well overnight, too. The dough was very wet, but I just kind of kept kneading it in a mixing bowl, which was more of a flopping-the-dough-around action than kneading...but by the time I was ready to shape the loaves, the dough had tightened up nicely. I baked one round loaf and one in a loaf pan; I used a baking stone and covered the loaves with cast iron Le Crueset-type pans to trap the steam and give them a thick crackling crust. Wonderful!
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Photo by Doughgirl8

Cooking Level: Professional

Home Town: Northfield, Minnesota, USA
Living In: Seattle, Washington, USA
Reviewed: Jun. 3, 2009
i really liked this recipe but had to use robin hood multigrain flour becoz i ran out of ww and since some reviewers said the taste was bland and i did want to have garlic bread i added approx 1/4 tsp garlic powder...i made the dough in my breadmachine and baked it in the oven and it was tasty...thanks for the recipe
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Photo by smitty

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada
Reviewed: Apr. 6, 2009
Great bread. I always follow the recipe to the letter the first time around, how else can you give it a fair review? Good stuff we ate it all up right out of the oven so we made a second batch. That one a added the boiling water to the oven just to crisp up the crust a little more. The only reason I gave it 4 stars is because the French bakery near me makes it better. But you have to say that there is some thing that make home made food just tast great! I have now started using bread machine yeast and skiped the first rising step. I go straight to the sheet covered with damp cloth and one rised in the oven they go. I can't tell the differance from the first batches we made, big time saver when yuo want to eat NOW!
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Photo by Pitchfork

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Anaheim, California, USA
Reviewed: Jan. 24, 2009
I tried this bread and I love it, it's the best one I've tried so far! I loved how you let some of dough sit overnight. I had no problem rising the bread, in fact it wouldn't stop rising, I didn't even have to let in finish the alotted rise time and it still turned out great. I used unbleached white flour instead of the others and added a little honey and it is wonderful. My son accidentally slammed the oven door shut when I had just put the bread in the oven to bake, and this is a very hearty dough because it didn't sink in with the force of that slam, most bread I've worked with usually does at the slightest wrong movement.
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Photo by Stephanie,AR

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Reviewed: Jan. 12, 2009
Tastes good but bland- great for dinners where you are going to use it to "mop" up whatevers on your plate. For just eating, I'd add some sugar or spices to it. Made them into dinner rolls and baked on a stone for 20 min- came out great!
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Photo by shanna1752

Cooking Level: Expert

Living In: Herkimer, New York, USA

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Reviewed: Dec. 27, 2008
It turned out ok, but it was not crusty like I had hoped it would be.
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Photo by Elizabeth Cramer

Cooking Level: Expert

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Reviewed: Dec. 21, 2008
I love making bread with a starter - it adds a much deeper flavor. The first time I made this bread, I found it to be a little flat and one dimensional in flavor. The second time I made it I used an overnight starter, but replenished it with 1/2 cup water and 3/4 cup flour in the morning, and then left it out about 3 more hours. I also only used 1 tsp. of yeast instead of 2. This caused the rise time to be a bit longer. (2 hours on the first rise and about 1 hr 15 min. for the second.) It's a little more time consuming, but the starter and the longer rises is where the more complex flavor comes from. I also upped the salt to 1 Tbsp. sea salt and used a stone ground whole wheat flour from my health food store. (The kind you have to store in the freezer.) The bread came out delicious. My husband loves it. For those who want a crisper crust try steaming your ovens in the first few minutes of baking.
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Photo by Allrecipes

Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Rifle, Colorado, USA
Living In: Littleton, Colorado, USA

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