Cooking for only two people can be a challenge at times. It seems like most recipes make enough food for a family of 8! This seems to be especially true with baking and although I’ve played around with baked good recipes to make a smaller batch…sometimes you just don’t want to do the math! Or your math is off and your final product is not what you thought it was going to be. Take this recipe for French Bread, for example. I cut the recipe in half and still got a ton of bread! Luckily my brain was actually working for once and I thought why not make some “mini-loaves”? The mini-loaves are the perfect size for 2-3 people. I only use one loaf at a time and freeze the others (I use my Food Saver for this and the bread comes out as fresh as the day it was first made!).
By the way, I’ve been making almost all of our bread & buns lately myself. I am really starting to loathe store-bought bread. If you are hesitant to make your own bread or think it is a lot of work…think again! That is part of the reason I stayed away from it for so long. I’ve also found that the bread/rolls I make myself freeze much better than store bought and so I am not wasting nearly as much as I used to. Again…only 2 people can eat so many hamburger rolls, so I would throw them in the freezer but 2 weeks later they would be freezer burned and all around nasty…and into the trash 4 or 5 rolls would go (I can’t be the only person with this problem, right??)! This is not the case with homemade bread and rolls…so not only is it cheaper to make…I promise you won’t end up wasting it!!
This bread is yummy as a side dish for soup or other dishes. I served ours with some Summer Corn Chowder!
Mini French Bread Loaves
(Makes 4 “mini” loaves)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1-1/2 teaspoons cornmeal
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
- Using a stand mixer with the dough attachment, add all ingredients except for the flour to the mixing bowl. Add 1 1/2 cups of the flour and stir until well combined.
- Slowly add the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time.
- Increase speed and allow dough to knead for a few minutes until it forms one solid ball and is no longer sticking to the sides of the bowl. The dough should be smooth and elastic and should not stick to the bowl or the hook when removing it.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover and allow to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
- When the dough has doubled in size, gently punch it down and divide into four. Allow to rest on a floured surface for 10 minutes.
- Shape each piece of dough into a rectangle. Sprinkle a parchment lined baking sheet with the cornmeal and place the dough on the baking sheet. Using a sharp paring knife make 3 diagonal slashes in each loaf. Cover and allow to rise for 40 more minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to the 375 degrees F.
- Prepare the egg wash by adding the water to the egg white and gently beating with a fork.
- Brush the egg wash on top of each loaf and bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Allow to cool slightly before slicing. Can be served warm or room temperature.