Pain d’epi – Classic French Bread Recipe with a Twist (Literally)

Pain D'epi

“My Story”

If you have kids, I am sure you have seen the classic Disney movie Aladdin. If so, remember the beginning where Aladdin steals the loaf of bread and runs all over the city trying to escape the guards? Maybe it’s my inner child, or the fact that I have two Disney obsessed children who force me to watch every Disney movie that comes out, but, every time I see that cartoon loaf of bread… I think how my cartoon self would find it super delicious. (Maybe I just need more sleep…).

Anyway, Carbohydrates are huge in my family! My daughter practically livespain d'epi off of them, and for that reason alone, I try to incorporate them into every meal. A meal with bread is a good meal regardless the entree. Just think.. What could possibly make a nice pasta dish more appealing?  Garlic Bread! It just makes sense. Especially when you live near a bread loving city like Philadelphia . We are use to delicious Hoagie rolls and mouth-watering soft pretzels.

Pain d’epi (French Bread)

I am always interested in the history of the food that I make. Having a History minor in college and a teaching background definitely contributes to my desire to learn.  French Bread has a long history dating back before the Pain D'epiNapoleon Era. Can you believe that little dictator actually established strict standards for baking bread. Where’s the creativity in that?

It wasn’t for another 100 years when bread became more accessible to farmers and became part of the staple diet again. Since then, there has been an emergence of creativity and original products. Bread is a regular side on the dinner table and wheat is the most cultivated grain in the world.

Pain d’epi is a classic wheat stalk shaped bread. It looks intimidating and difficult to make, but it is quite simple. The finished product is ever so crustyPain d'epi on the outside and doughy in the middle. It will look elegant on your table next to any dish you prefer. Try this recipe and you will be happy you chose it over the ordinary dinner rolls.

Catering tips

  • Fresh bread will always be a crowd pleaser over store bought. Take the time to make this bread and your guests will be impressed.

  • You can use leftover bread to make Bruschetta, homemade croutons or breadcrumbs.

  • Making your own bread will not only be rewarding, it will save you money. A loaf of french bread in the store ranges from $3.00 to $5.00 dollars.

 

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Pain d'epi - Classic French Bread Recipe with a Twist (Literally)
Classic French Bread recipe with a twist (Literally!). Crusty outside and soft inside makes this bread desirable at the dinner table. Simple Recipe that can be made by anyone!
Pain d'epi
Course Bread
Cuisine French
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 2 hours
Servings
loaves
Ingredients
Course Bread
Cuisine French
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 2 hours
Servings
loaves
Ingredients
Pain d'epi
Instructions
  1. Take a cup of bread flour and pour the warm water and yeast on top and let sit for 30-60 minutes. It will form a sludge and add a lot of flavor to the bread.
  2. Add the rest of the flour a salt and mix on a mixer for about 5 minutes with a dough hook.
  3. Put Dough in a bowl and cover with a damp towel until it doubles in size. (About 1 hour)
    Pain d'epi
  4. Spread dough out by pushing it and pulling it. (A rolling pin doesn't help much.) Form it into a rectangle.
    Pain d'epi
  5. Fold the dough like you would a letter you're putting in an envelope.
  6. Pull the dough so that it resembles an uncooked french bread loaf.
    Pain d'epi
  7. With cullinary scissors, cut a 2-3 inch piece 3/4 the way and twist it off to the side. Repeat for the rest of the dough alternating what direction you place the dough. It should look like a wheat stalk.
    Pain d'epi
  8. Mix one large egg with a splash of water and brush the egg wash on the bread. At this point, you can add salt on top if you desire.
  9. Slide cornmeal underneath the dough so that it can transfer onto the pizza stone or sheet pan easier.
  10. Make sure oven has been preheated 450 degrees and place an oven safe pot full of water on the lowest rack. This water will put moisture in the oven which helps the bread's crust
  11. Carefully slide the bread off the peel or cutting board into the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes.
  12. After bread has light brown crust, take the bread off the stone and onto a rack to cool.
  13. Serve while still warm
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