The dough to make these three huge 2 1/2 pound loaves of yummy, chewy, crispy-crusted French Bread (which was destined to become frozen garlic bread) came out my new WonderMix Kitchen Mixer all in ONE BATCH! Blew me away.
My KitchenAid simply cannot handle that quantity of dough in one batch! I could have easily gotten four or five loaves out of this, but since it was my first time using this new mixer, I was reluctant to change the recipe (which is directly out of the WonderMix User Manual). I figured it was well-tested and decided not to mess with it. I do get a bit more creative with future WonderMix recipes though, so stayed tuned.
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That said, the quantity of dough that the WonderMix can handle in one batch is just amazing! It is the one thing I love the most about it. Why? Because it means I can bake in quantity & freeze for later — which means I don’t have to bake as often. Where I was baking twice a week, now I can get away with twice a month! What a huge time-saver that is and it frees me (and my kitchen) up for other important things like canning, pickling, and prepping the harvest. Oh, and of course, it means more time in the garden!
So why did I choose French Bread for my maiden voyage in the WonderMix? Because we LOVE garlic bread in this house! It doesn’t even need to be served with Italian food — I will serve it will anything. Once cooled, I cut these French Bread loaves in 3/4 inch thick slices, spread a thick layer of garlic butter on each slice, and then froze them on cookie sheets. After they were frozen, I bagged them up and returned them to the freezer. Now I can pull out the number of slices of garlic bread that I need for a meal and put the rest back. To bake, I just put the slices butter side up on a cookie sheet, sprinkle on whatever cheese I have available, and bake at 425F for about 10 minutes until golden brown. These three 2 1/2 pound loaves made enough garlic bread to last us for — well, a long time! Bye-bye, Pepperidge Farms! And good riddance! (Yes, I will soon write a post on how to make the garlic bread, too! I will link it here.)
Okay, so here is the link to the original recipe I used (from the WonderMix User Manual) and here it is slightly reformatted and with my comments in parenthesis:
WonderMix’s French Bread Recipe
- 4 Tbsp. SAF Instant Yeast (I use this kind, but any instant or quick rise yeast should be fine. If you have only active dry, you can use it, but be sure to proof it before you add the other ingredients.)
- 4 c. hot water (Not TOO hot! Around 110F, baby bath water temperature.)
6 Tbsp. sugar
- 2 Tbsp. salt
- 1 c. olive oil
- 10+ c. unbleached white flour (I used almost 12 cups of unbleached white flour, but I think you could use all purpose or maybe even bread flour — if you like your French Bread a little chewier.)
- 4 Tbsp. dough enhancer (Here is the dough enhancer I use, but I think you could just add a little vital wheat gluten instead if that is what you have on hand.)
- Combine all ingredients in WonderMix bowl. (I added 9 cups at first and stopped adding when it was no longer sticky, didn’t stick to the bowl, and easily stretched without breaking).
- Knead for 8-10 minutes. Allow dough to rise in WonderMix bowl for 10 minutes, and then punch dough down (turn on the mixer to punch dough down). Repeat 4 to 5 times.
- Divide dough and shape into 2 or 3 loaves. (I went with three! I cannot imagine how big they would have been had I gone with just two. Next time, I will do at least four, if not five loaves. This is a huge amount of dough for a home baker like little ol’ me!)
- Place loaves on greased baking sheets (I prefer this parchment paper so I never have to scrub oily, baked-on residue off my cookie sheets. Also, with parchment paper the bottom of my bread never burns or sticks. If you don’t use parchment paper, try it sometime. You will never grease a baking pan again.)
- Slash the tops of loaves with a knife. Allow dough to rise until doubled. (I let mine rise first, then I slashed the tops. That way, the dough doesn’t stick to the knife and the split in the bread looks neater. Also, I used an egg white wash on the tops to make them golden brown, glistening, and crunchy.)
- Bake at 400° for 30 minutes. (In my case, it took closer to 45 minutes and I had to turn the loaves several times because they were not baking evenly. I suspect this was because my entire oven was taken up with these humongous loaves.)
Okay, as I mentioned earlier, I tried to stick as close to the original WonderMix recipe as possible, with the exception of what I noted above in parenthesis and the fact that this French Bread ultimately became our much-loved frozen garlic bread.
Here are a few photos of the process:
If you are home baker who makes a lot of bread frequently in a smaller mixer, you should give the WonderMix Kitchen Mixer some thought. It can handle double and triple batches of dough so that you can bake in quantity saving time, effort, clean up, and allowing you to stock your freezer with bread & dough! For more information on how the WonderMix is made, visit their site here.
Do you have a favorite bread recipe you would like me to test in the WonderMix Kitchen Mixer? Send me the recipe and I will see if I can test it for you!
This post appears on the Simple Saturday Blog Hop here.