French Bread/Rolls

“I baste the rolls with ice water after about ten minutes in the oven – it scares them to death, and they get crunchy.”


2 cups warm water
1 teaspoon honey
1 scant tablespoon yeast (1 package dry)
1 tablespoon diastatic malt (optional - see note)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon oil
6 cups flour (approximately)


Mix water, honey, and yeast together, and let stand until bubbles appear. Add malt if desired, salt, oil, and 2 cups flour. Beat well. Work the rest of the flour in gradually and knead dough for 20 minutes. Cover and let rise for 5 to 12 hours. (“I often start my bread the night before and let it rise overnight.”) Punch the dough down, and let rise for another 2 to 4 hours, until doubled. Punch down and shape into 2 loaves or 2 dozen hard rolls (or a combination of both). Let rise for 20 minutes. Bake in a 400 degrees F oven for about 10 minutes, baste with ice water to achieve a hard crust, reduce heat to 350 degrees F, and bake 20 to 30 minutes longer. Diastatic Malt: In a slow oven, dry ½ cup sprouted wheat kernels, turning a few times, until thoroughly dry. Pulverize in a blender, and store in the refrigerator. The enzymes in the malt help convert starch to sugar.

Cooking & Recipes


Makes 2 loaves or 2 dozen hard rolls.

Preparation Method

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