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Hi there! Welcome to the blog, a journal of my photography, family, and adventures. Stay a while and say hello!

i'm sydney biggs

sydney bakes

Sydney Bakes

If you’ve been following along in my Instagram stories, you know that I’m making my own sourdough starter. It might be silly (or it might be that quarantine is getting to me…) but I get absolutely GIDDY at 3 PM every day when I get to feed it and see all the good bubbles!

Food has always been a big part of my life. I know that sounds silly because it’s obviously an essential part of everyone’s lives, right? But I mean this in a different way.

My parents are graphic designers and have designed so many cookbooks. I can remember helping my dad scan film slides to be used in cookbooks he was designing and seeing food from all over the world. I guess film has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, too. My parents would hang up the proofs of the pages on the walls of their office, every inch covered in beautiful images of food! They still do that, by the way. 🙂

Years later, when I came home from BYU for the summers, I would work at Bouchon Bakery. I was part of the retail staff, but you can bet I spent plenty of time in the kitchens watching the bread and pastry chefs do their thing. I wanted to be them! (Without having to get to work at 3 am.) I even did a few stages (kitchen internships) on my days off to learn from the chefs.

I don’t work in a bakery anymore and I definitely didn’t take any special secrets from the chefs…but I love baking and cooking. Ben’s mom has a magnet on her fridge that says, “Love people. Cook them good food.” And I think I kind of try to live by that. It’s a fun way to be creative and make something delicious.

So now I’m starting this little series on my blog called Sydney Bakes. Every once in a while I’ll pop on here and share a recipe I’ve baked and a few photos. There will definitely be some flops…because that’s how baking goes haha, but there will also be some really good ones!

So today here’s my first Sydney Bakes – fast and easy French bread. I make this at least once a week for us to eat! Enjoy photos of a very pregnant me wearing Ben’s shirt trying to knead the dough at the counter 😅

Fast and Easy French Bread

3 cups flour

1.5 T sugar and 1/4 t sugar

1.5 t salt

1 1/4 cups water

1 T dry yeast

  1. Mix 1/4 cup warm water, yeast, and 1/4 t sugar together. Let the yeast activate (grow and become fluffly).
  2. Mix 1.5 cups flour, 1 cup hot water, 1.5 T sugar, and 1.5 t salt in mixer until completely combined.
  3. Add the yeast mixture and remaining 1.5 cups of flour and mix on low speed. I like to mix mine for a while (4ish minutes). The dough should be sticky to the touch, but shouldn’t stick to the bowl.
  4. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise somewhere warm until double.
  5. Pull your dough out of the bowl and knead it for a few minutes. It should be sticky to the touch, but shouldn’t stick to the counter. Form it into a loaf, cover, and let rise until double.
  6. Bake at 400°F for 25-30 minutes.
  7. Voila! Super yummy French bread. It’s a real crowd pleaser 🙂

Dough after its first proof, or the first time I let it rise. The dough should rise to about double its original size.

After the first proof, knead the dough for a few minutes. It should be a little bit sticky on your hands, but not enough to stick to the counter!

Real baby or food baby? 😅

Bake the loaf at 400°F for 25-30 minutes (until golden and you can knock on the crust). Let it cool on a rack. Enjoy with butter!

The crumb texture of this bread makes me so happy.

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