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French Boule (“ball” in English) is a traditional country-style French bread. When done right, it has a crispy crust on the outside and a light, soft and moist inside. Overall, the bread has a lovely bite that makes it good all on its own. Of course, the bread also goes beautifully well with soups and stews or as a tartine!

Modifying our baguette recipe by adding more ingredients to it, here is our recipe for a good French Boule bread. Enjoy! 🙂

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Makes 1 Boule 
Preparation time: 3 hr 15 mins (including proofing)
Cooking time: 30 – 35 mins (depending on your oven’s characteristics)
Ingredients
  • 3 1/2 cups bread/plain flour (set aside extra for dusting)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 sachet (11g) instant yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Olive oil (keep it within reach 🙂)
  • 1 tbsp dried rosemary
  • A pinch of sea salt
Method
  1. Mix the warm water and yeast in a small bowl and set aside for about 5 minutes for the yeast to be activated.
  2. Add the flour, salt, and yeast mixture into a stand mixer’s bowl and use the stand mixer to mix on medium-low speed for about 5 minutes or until it is soft, smooth and very sticky.
  3. Place the dough onto a floured surface. Gently fold it a few times, then place it in a bowl that has been greased with some olive oil. Grease the top and sides of the dough with olive oil. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and place it in a warm place to proof for about 2 hours. The dough should double in size.
  4. Remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a floured surface. Gently shape it into a smooth ball (do not flatten the risen dough) and place it in a 9 x 9 inch baking tray lined with baking paper. Cover with cling wrap or towel and let it proof for about an hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 230°C and place one cast iron tray/pan or smaller baking tray in the oven.
  6. Using a small knife, gently score the top of the dough. Next, apply a dash of olive oil and sprinkle the rosemary and sea salt onto the dough before placing it in the oven.
  7. Place the baking tray onto the oven’s middle rack. Quickly add 1 cup of water (room temperature) into the cast iron tray/pan that you had placed in the oven earlier and shut the oven door immediately. *Caution: Be extra careful when pouring the water into the tray*
  8. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes. Optional: If the crust is about to burn, cover the top of the bread with a sheet of aluminium foil.
  9. Once baked, allow it to cool completely before serving.

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