Gallagher Hopkins posted an update 6 months ago
Is it possible to create the famed French Boule? I was recently asked that very question. I was more than a little surprised at the answer. It turns out there is a real way to make this delectable bread. Here is how it’s done.
The origin of the classic French house is a somewhat hazy story. Historians inform us that it was made in the early twelve hundreds by a nobleman in France called Basques. It was probably invented to replace the roux, which the aristocrats had been using for many years to cook delicious pastries and desserts but didn’t have time to prepare themselves. They got another idea and made some roux bread for themselves.
It is important to note here that white bread flour doesn’t play a role in the preparation of the original French bread. In actuality, it’s not even mentioned in the original recipe. The wheat flour that most contemporary recipes call for is what’s used in many of today’s cakes and breads. The interesting thing about this is that while it’s called French boule (in French), it actually contains oats.
Oats are not technically grass, but they are a much better medium for gluten to be processed immediately into gluten-free flour. If you look at the back label on a excellent French house recipe, you will see that it contains oats, a corn starch base and wheat flour. One could say that the French bread is made with corn meal or flax seed meal. That’s not to say that modern flour has no place in a excellent French bread recipe, but I would not count on it as a key ingredient.
There are two types of bread, that you may recognize when buying a French butcher or deli: German and Dutch-oven. Most people today think that a German dutch-oven is a type of sourdough. It’s not. A German dutch-oven is made from a yeast strain called levain that’s not a part of the natural yeast living in our bodies. German bread made with this breed is never bread at the common sense of the word, but rather a very sweet, dense yeast bread with a tangy taste and a great deal of structure.
For a fast, light toast, mix one tablespoon of brown sugar with one tablespoon of cinnamon in a bowl. Add one tablespoon of instant coffee into the mixture and stir until everything becomes smooth and fluffy. Line a baking pan with a very lightly moistened pastry shell and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. If using a wire rack, then put the finished French boule in the middle of the rack. Bake for ten to fifteen minutes until done.
Once cool, remove the paper in the bottom of the loaf and discard the paper. Spoon the chilled mixture into your hands and form a ball with your fingers, then put it into a disk. With a moist towel, gently roll the ball of dough until it’s about twice the depth of a cookie cutter and place it in your refrigerator. You can freeze the finished French Boule in an airtight container to keep it fresh until needed.
For the next step, you will want to make a double batch. Place the finished French Bread into one of your re-sealable plastic bags, then cut off about a half inch of the bottom of the loaf. With a sharp knife, start scraping the bread in 1 direction, and turn the bag around so that the pieces are coming out in a different direction. After about fifteen minutes have elapsed, remove the slices from the plastic bag and place them in your pre-heated oven, or serve them hot.