French Country Bread Recipe Reviews - Allrecipes.com (Pg. 1)
Reviewed: Jul. 21, 2000
What a wonderful bread. I once used a sourdough starter instead of the overnite version and that worked very well too. Crispy outside and very light and fluffy inside, while still hearty thanks to the whole wheat. I've also tried adding wheat bran and found that even tastier. Enjoy!
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Reviewed: Jan. 6, 2007
I thought this had a great flavor and produced a rustic looking nice loaf of bread. Thanks to the reviewers that suggested to up the salt. I used 1 1/2 tbsp. of Kosher salt. Although I did both proofings according to the time stated in the instructions, I felt that it was a bit underproofed. I would take the advice of the reviewer that proofed hers for longer. This has a nice crumb, although I think with proofing a bit longer, one would get more of a light airy lacy looking texture. Since this is a rustic bread, I added some sesame, poppy, kosher salt, caraway, and anise seed atop the loaves. This added to the flavor nicely. Egg washed the tops and spritzed my oven with a mister for the first 7-8 minutes; this produced a nice crusty crust. Will definitely make again with the change to the salt and will proof a bit longer on the second rising.
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: King Ferry, New York, USA
Living In: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

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Reviewed: Mar. 20, 2001
Very easy to make. The starter method does give additional lift and flavor. I added 1 Tablespoon of honey because my kids are fussy, it doesn't really affect the flavor. Great as toast!
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Reviewed: Jan. 10, 2007
This was my first time making an overnight starter and it was fun to wake up to having part of the job done! As other reviewers suggested, I increased the salt to 1.5T and even though I'm big on reducing salt normally, I am glad I did; this bread has very nice flavor. Used King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour, so my bread came out looking like a white loaf, but has the health benefits of containing whole wheat. I mixed this in my electric stand mixer and did have to add about 1.5c more flour before the dough pulled together in the bowl; added maybe another cup+ while I kneaded it to keep it from sticking. I let it rise for 45 minutes as stated, on the 2nd rising, but probably could have decreased that as my loaves came out pretty large! I didn't use loaf pans, but just turned the loaves out as baguettes onto an oiled baking sheet sprinkled with a little cornmeal; topped the loaves with an eggwhite wash, and black & white sesame seeds. We really liked this bread! Thank you, Stephen.
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

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Reviewed: Jan. 2, 2005
The bread had a great crumb and is really moist. Unfortunately it had absolutely no flavor, which I found out after baking the first loaf. For the second loaf, I tried to remedy it by brushing the unbaked loaf with a salt solution then sprinkling the top of the bread with kosher salt. This gave it some flavor and supported toppings well. If you're looking for a good everyday bread, add some salt to the recipe and go with this one. But if you are looking for a French pain levain, or that bread you had in that brasserie in Dijon, you will be disappointed.
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Reviewed: Jan. 30, 2001
It was all right, but I didn't think that it had much taste to it.
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Living In: Chicago, Illinois, USA

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Reviewed: Aug. 16, 2000
Really yummy, my family loved it! Reminded me of the bread one of my favorite restaurants serve. Really easy to make and looks lovely after it is baked not to mention the great flavor!
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Reviewed: Dec. 20, 2000
I'm only halfway through this recipe (waiting for the first rise), but so far I love it! The proportions of ingredients are perfect and everything is going exactly as indicated. I'm a novice bread baker (this is only my second attempt at bread) so I'm very excited. I'll write again when I taste it, but I'm expecting it to be just what I'm looking for!
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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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Cooking Level: Professional

Home Town: Northfield, Minnesota, USA
Living In: Seattle, Washington, USA
Reviewed: Apr. 26, 2006
I loved this. I really liked leaving the yeast mixture overnight - I am sometimes so impatient to start the recipe that I don't let it proof properly. The combination of bread flour and wheat flour was superb. I used my bread machine for the kneading and rising steps, and ended up with two perfect loaves. Thanks so much, Stephen!
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Photo by Caroline C

Cooking Level: Expert

Living In: Fort Lupton, Colorado, USA

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