Aries was off today, and this afternoon said he'd cook spaghetti and meatballs for dinner tonight. We had just about everything ready to go. I had a big batch of meatballs and bell peppers in the freezer, jars of tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste from last summer's harvest, onions and garlic in the pantry, and lots of other veggies in the refrigerator. He also wanted garlic bread, so I said I'd make my One-Hour French Bread.
One hour is total time from getting the bowl out of the cupboard until a fresh hot loaf comes out of the oven. Lots of time, our dinner is this bread and some home-made soup. Sorry I couldn't get a photo of the loaf right out of the oven - Aries just loves hot fresh bread!
One-Hour French Bread
1½ cups warm water
1 tablespoon honey
1½ teaspoons salt
1½ tablespoons Active Dry Yeast
3 - 4 cups flour (any combination of white and whole wheat)
Preheat oven 450º. Combine water, salt, honey, and yeast in a medium bowl. Let sit 5 - 10 minutes, until bubbling. Add flour, stirring with a wooden spoon, until dough is no longer sticky (I'll sometimes dump the dough out onto the cutting board with what flour is in the bowl and roll it around,adding a bit more flour, until it's not sticky). Roll dough into a 12 - 14" roll (or you can divide it in half and roll it into two long skinny baguettes). Place dough roll(s) on a cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick spray, cover, and let sit 20 minutes. Make diagonal slits, 1/2" deep, on top with a razor blade. (Optional: spray with salt water). Bake 20 minutes.