How do I Keep French Bread From Spreading Out When Baking?

Written by kathryn hatter
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How do I Keep French Bread From Spreading Out When Baking?
Keep French bread from spreading out when baking by preparing the loaves carefully. (fresh bread image by Gina Smith from Fotolia.com)

Cooks who try their hand at baking French bread may find it challenging to perfect a French bread recipe. A loaf of French bread should be crusty and rise high in the pan. Keep French bread from spreading out when baking by preparing the loaves carefully. You can also ensure an attractive loaf of French bread by using a baguette pan.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • French bread dough
  • Flour
  • Baguette pan
  • Cooking oil
  • Paring knife

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Shape the French bread dough into a loaf. Form the dough into a rectangle by kneading and stretching it on a flat work surface. Sprinkle flour on the work surface to prevent the dough from sticking. Work until the dough forms a 6-inch by 10-inch rectangle.

  2. 2

    Fold both 10-inch edges in to meet at the centre of the rectangle. Fold this rectangle in half lengthwise to place the folded edges inside the centre of the loaf.

  3. 3

    Pull the short ends of the rectangle out to make a longer loaf. Continue pulling until the loaf is approximately 3 to 4 inches wide (the loaf will become more narrow as you pull it longer).

  4. 4

    Pinch all edges of the loaf to seal the seams tightly. Sealing the seams will make the French bread rise higher instead of spread out.

  5. 5

    Oil the baguette pan generously and place the French bread loaf into the pan with the seam side facing down.

  6. 6

    Allow the dough to rise for 30 minutes and then make four slashes in the top with the paring knife. Slashing the French bread will enable steam to escape from the bread while it bakes, keeping it from spreading and making the crust crispy.

  7. 7

    Allow the dough to rise again 15 to 20 minutes and then bake the bread at 190 degrees Cor 20 to 25 minutes, until the French bread is golden brown and crispy.

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