Sunday, January 20, 2013

French Bread

2 packages active dry yeast (4 1/2 tsp)
2 1/2 cups warm water
1 T salt
1 T butter or margarine, melted
7 cups flour
2 T cornmeal
1 egg white
1 T cold water

Dissolve yeast in warm water.  Add to bowl with salt, butter and flour.  Mix about one minute.  Turn speed up and knead about two minutes longer.  Dough will be sticky.

Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top.  Cover.  Let rise in warm place, free from draft, about one hour, or until doubled in bulk.

Punch dough down and dived in half.  Roll each half into 12X15 inch rectangle.  Roll dough tightly from longest side, tapering ends if desired.  (I skip the rolling out and just use my hands to shape them into a long oval loaf).  Place loaves on greased baking sheets that have been dusted with cornmeal (I don't use cornmeal).  Cover.  Let rise in warm place, free from draft, about 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk.

With sharp knife, make 4 diagonal cuts on top of each loaf.  Bake at 450 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Beat egg white and water together with a fork.  Brush each loaf with egg mixture. Return to oven and bake 5 to 10 minutes longer (I just remove from oven and brush with butter.  I don't put the loaf back in the oven).  Remove from baking sheets immediately and cool on wire racks.

No comments: