Monday, September 20, 2010

French Bread

I LOVE homemade bread. This recipe sounded too easy to NOT try it, right? I didn't know it was this simple. I have all of these ingredients on hand all the time. Oh carbs, I love you. How can people go carb-less? It's just not right... Ellie enjoyed learning how to knead, turn, punch down and shape dough. And I heard that kneading bread dough is a decent workout for your arms.

2 tbsp active dry yeast
2 c warm water (110 to 115 degrees)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
4 1/2 to 5 c bread flour (we used all purpose instead AND about 1 c of whole wheat)
1 tsp cornmeal
(I also added a squirt of honey)

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the salt, sugar, and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.

Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 1 hour)

Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half. Shape into 12 inch long loaves.

Place seam side down on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled (about 30 minutes). Sprinkle with cornmeal. With sharp knife, make four shallow slashes across the top of each loaf. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

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