Scandinavian Franskbrød: French Bread…sort of.

Nearing the end of last year, my boyfriend and I decided to stop purchasing bread from the store. We made a conscious decision to make our own baguettes, sandwich loaves, hot dog and hamburger buns, naan, lavash, etc. Some of the recipes are very difficult and fickle and have to be done completely by hand, and others, like this franskbrød (and although it has an egg in it, it translates to “French bread”) were perfect in our bread machine. I will say, though, that we bought an exceptional bread machine by Zojirushi because we wanted something that would make traditionally-shaped loaves. We didn’t want to have to transfer the dough to a bread pan before baking. While our intentions would be good, we needed something that could do the mixing, kneading, rising, and baking while we’re out in the garden, at work, or where ever. So…if you’re low on time, have a bread machine, and really love delicious bread, this one’s for you.

We found this recipe in The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook by Beth Hensperger. It’s painfully simple. For a 1.5 pound loaf, you’ll need:

1 cup water
1 large egg
3 cups bread flour (I use high-gluten flour)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten
1 1/4 teaspoons salt (I use sea salt)
2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast (I use rapid rise) OR 2 teaspoon regular SAF yeast

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Add all ingredients to the bread machine pan according to your manufacturer’s directions.

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Because I use rapid rise yeast, I put my machine on the quick cycle. The book recommends using medium for the crust setting. Now hit start. That was hard work, right?

Within two hours, your house’ll smell like a bakery. If you don’t bake bread for any other reason than the smell, I’d understand. But this is the chewiest, fluffiest, crunchiest crust bread we’ve ever made.

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