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Deborah Raney's No Knead French Bread

Deborah Raney's books have won numerous awards, including the RITA, National Readers Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, and the Carol Award, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. She and her husband, Ken, recently traded small-town life in Kansas the setting of many of Deborah s novels for life in the (relatively) big city of Wichita, where they enjoy gardening, antiquing, movies, and traveling to visit four children and a growing brood of grandchildren who all live much too far away. Visit Deborah on the web at DeborahRaney.com.

Deb's Most Recent Book Release: Home to Chickory Lane 


Audrey Whitman’s dreams are coming true. Now that their five kids are grown, she and her husband, Grant, are turning their beloved family home into a cozy bed and breakfast just a mile outside of Langhorne, Missouri.

Opening weekend makes Audrey anxious, with family and friends coming from all over to help celebrate the occasion. But when Audrey’s daughter, Landyn, arrives, the U-Haul she’s pulling makes it clear she’s not just here for a few days. Audrey immediately has questions. What happened in New York that sent Landyn running home? Where was Landyn’s husband, Chase? And what else was her daughter not telling her? One thing was for sure, the Chicory Inn was off to a rocky start. Can Audrey still realize her dream and at the same time provide the comfort of home her daughter so desperately needs? Purchase the book HERE.

Deb's Recipe for Homemade French Bread (no-knead)

This is such an easy recipe! Time consuming to wait for it to rise, etc., but very easy to mix since it requires no kneading––only "punching down." If you have dough hooks on your mixer, you can probably use those to "punch it down" but a wooden spoon works just as well. My mom got the recipe from my friend Rhonda's mom, who got it from her mother, Minta. This has been in my family for as long as I can remember...well over 50 years and is one we often make for company. The leftovers (rare!) make wonderful French toast, too! 




FRENCH BREAD
In a small bowl, dissolve 2 packages of yeast and 1 tsp. sugar in ½ cup warm water.

Meanwhile, in an extra large bowl, measure ½ cup sugar, 1/2 cup butter, 2 rounded teaspoons salt, and 2 cups very hot water.

When mixture is cooled to lukewarm, add yeast mixture and stir well. Mix in 6 cups of all-purpose flour. (I usually beat the first 3 cups in with a hand mixer, and the rest by hand with a wooden spoon.)

Cover bowl with a tea towel and put in a warm place to rise. Every 10 minutes, beat dough down with the wooden spoon. Do this five times.

Then divide dough in two or three lumps and turn each out on a floured counter top. Let rest for 10 minutes.

Shape dough into long French loaves (I usually make 3, but you can do 2 huge ones if you prefer) and place each loaf diagonally on a separate, large, greased cookie sheet. (When shaping the dough into loaves, I usually end up working more flour into each loaf to make it stiff enough to work with.)

Let rise for about 10 minutes, then slash diagonally about ¼ inch deep every 2-3 inches. Let rise another 20-30 minutes.

For an extra crusty top, brush on mixture of egg and milk (1 egg, 1 Tblsp milk) just before baking. (Or "paint" with a stick of butter when the loaves come out of the oven.)

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Immediately remove from pan. Wrap in foil when cool.