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Mini French Bread Loaves (Serves 2)

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“Since both of my kids are in college, most nights it is just DH and I for dinner, so I decided to buy the book "Small -Batch Baking" by Debby Maugans Nakos. We love fresh baked bread, but find the recipes make too much for us, so this makes two mini loaves. These are soft on the inside and with a crispy crust. Because these have no fat, they don't save well, so best served same day of baking. NOTE: This takes many hours of rising, not a good recipe for the weekdays if working, but great for a weekend or if you don't work. The long rising times really allow for the flavor development. You will need to allow at least 5 hours rising time.”
2 mini loaves

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 34 cup bread flour, plus more as needed and for dusting work surface (plus 2 Tablespoons)
  • 12 teaspoon salt (I use fine sea salt)
  • 14 teaspoon fast rise yeast
  • olive oil, for greasing the bowl


  1. Place the bread flour, salt, and yeast in a food processor, and process for 3 seconds to blend. With the machine running, pour 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons water through the feed tub; process until the dough holds together, about 20 seconds. The dough should be a sticky mass, and it should appear difficult to knead by hand. If the dough is too dry, add more water, a tablespoon at a time, processing for 5 seconds after each addition.
  2. Lightly grease a medium-size mixing bowl with olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl and turn it to coat it with the oil. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise at room temperature until it has nearly doubled in bulk, 2 to 3 hours.
  3. Punch the dough down and let it rise again until nearly doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.
  4. Sprinkle a cutting board or work surface with a little flour, place the dough on it, and cut the dough into 2 pieces. Shape the pieces into balls, sprinkling them with a little flour if necessary to make them easier to handle. Place the balls of dough on an ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle a little flour over each round (to keep the plastic wrap from sticking), and cover them lightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough balls rise until nearly doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  5. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. To make a crisp crust, fill a clean spray bottle with water and spritz the inside of the oven with water just before you slide the bread into the oven.
  6. Bake the bread rounds until golden and crusty, about 10 minutes. Fremove the baking sheet from the oven or, If you like a crustier loaf, leave the bread in the oven with the door closed for 5 minutes after you have turned off the oven.
  7. Transfer the bread to a wire rack to cool. Serve it warm or at room temperature.

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