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)
- 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
- Mix the warm water and yeast in a small bowl and set aside for about 5 minutes for the yeast to be activated.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Preheat the oven to 230°C and place one cast iron tray/pan or smaller baking tray in the oven.
- 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.
- 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*
- 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.
- Once baked, allow it to cool completely before serving.