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Lys d'Or Soft French Bread

Lys d'Or Soft French Bread

This is a simple bread that is delicious when freshly baked, but is also crispy and delicious when toasted. It has a nice fragrance too. (Use a bread machine or knead by hand.)

Ingredients

Lys d'Or semi-strong bread flour
300 g
Water
195 g plus
Sugar
5 g plus
Salt
5 g
Dried yeast
4 g
Malt powder (optional)
1 g
Rice flour or bread flour
as needed

Steps

1. Put all the ingredients in a bread machine and use the 'dough-only' program. When the 1st rising is done, take the dough out, deflate it and round it off. Cover with a tightly wrung out moistened kitchen towel, and rest the dough for 15 to 20 minutes.
2. The dough is very soft, so deflate it gently and round it off again.
3. Dust the banneton (bread-rising mold) evenly with flour (rice flour or bread flour) using a tea strainer. I used rice flour this time.
4. Put the dough with the smooth side down and the seam side up in the banneton.
5. Let the dough rise to about 1.5 to a bit less than 2 times its original volume at around 35°C. Start preheating the oven to 250°C so that it's ready when the dough has finished rising. Heat up the oven tray if there is one at the same time.
6. If your oven has a steam function, use that. If it doesn't, mist the surface of the dough from a little distance in Step 7.
7. Invert a sheet of kitchen parchment paper over the mold, hold both with your hands and invert carefully to transfer the dough to the paper. Slash the top of the dough, and transfer the dough, paper and all, to the oven tray to bake. (Be careful not to burn yourself.)
8. Turn the oven temperature down from 250°C to 230°C, and start baking the bread for 10 minutes. Turn the temperature down again to 200 to 220°C and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes. This is just a guideline, so please adjust the temperatures depending on how brown you want the crust to be and so on.
9. Let the bread cool down after it's baked. You can hand-knead the dough too. See (Recipe ID: 1288232) hard-crust rolls for hand kneading instructions.
10. When I hand-knead the dough, I knead it for a short time and let it rise (1st rising) for a longer time. This results in nice air pockets in the crumb, and a great fragrance.
11. I tried making little rolls with the same dough. They're round and cute. I drizzled a little olive oil into the slashes on top. See (Recipe ID: 1288232).
12. I tried baking the dough as a rounded-top square loaf. It's so crispy when it's toasted. See (Recipe ID: 986008) for forming instructions.
13. Since it's kneaded well in a bread machine, I called it a "Soft French bread". If you knead it for a shorter time, it will be a harder pain de campagne-type bread (see next step).
14. If kneaded for a shorter time, the bread will have a harder texture. For that type of bread, knead the dough in the bread machine for 5 to 6 minutes, take it out and start the 1st rising. (In the wintertime use lukewarm water in the dough.)
15. Here's a pain de campagne using natural leaven. You can also try making it with a tiny amount of yeast. See (Recipe ID: 1830356).
16. This is an oven pain de campagne using natural leaven, whole wheat flour and rye flour. See (Recipe ID: 1812805). You can use a tiny bit if yeast instead, and/or use a round banneton.
17. See this recipe (Recipe ID: 1326479) for Rich, Buttery Baguette Rolls.

Story Behind this Recipe

I pulled out a basket shaped bread proofing mold I bought when I was a student to bake this. I prefer simple bread that doesn't have extraneous additions. (Made easily using a bread machine.)