The perfect storm for French bread …

Today was the perfect storm. And it compelled me to pull out my favorite French Country Bread recipe.

Number one: It rained today. Finally after weeks of one hundred degree weather here in Austin, we got a precious, delicate sprinkling of wet, cool rain. Two: My husband had shoulder surgery. There is nothing like sitting in a hospital all morning that makes you crave home and baking. Three: Last weekend, we vacationed in Leakey, Texas which necessitated driving through Fredricksurg- the bakery capital of the Lone Star State and the home of The Peach Tree Tea Room which is delicious personified and where I obtained this priceless treasure of a recipe.

This bread is so amazing that I just had to share it with you. And please don’t be intimidated. Bread making should not be scary. Rattle snakes are scary.  Snarling, charging dogs are scary. And standing in front of a mirror trying on swimsuits at Target? Downright terrifying.

But bread making is actually … beautiful and relaxing.

To start, get a little glass and some wine. I picked this pressed fleur-de-lys glassware I recently found at Anthropologie for only $6. Lovely.  And then I opened this oh so charming bottle of wine that was less than $10 … just look at that label.

Now. Sip on that a little. And now a little more. Perfect. Now, you’re ready to start this easy recipe.

The Peach Tree Inn’s French Country Bread

1 T active dry yeast * 1 -1/2 t sugar * 1 -1/2 c warm water * 3 c unbleached flour * 1/2 c whole wheat flour * 1/2 c rolled oats * 1 1/2 t salt

Dissolve yeast & sugar in water. Combine 2 c unbleached flour, ww flour, oats & salt. Add yeast mixture, stir well. Knead dough on lightly floured board gradually adding last cup of flour until no longer sticky (don’t feel compelled to use it all). Place dough in oiled bowl and cover with clean kitchen towel. Let sit til doubled in size (about an hour, less for me cause it was raining). Next, punch down and turn onto floured surface. Divide in 2 parts. Form into 2 large baguette size rolls and place on greased baking sheet seam side down. Cover with towel & let rise 30 mins (or so). Using serrated knife, make swallow diagonal slices on top of each loaf. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 -25 mins.

When hot, slice and slather with butter. Refill fleur-de-lys wine glass and luxuriate.

Experience … the perfect storm.