Wednesday, September 28, 2011

French Bread

I've been on an interesting bread baking kick lately and wanted to learn how to make my own French bread.  I found this recipe online on and it was highly rated.  It turned out awesome but it's not a processed to be rushed.  The recipe said it should only take about 2 hours and 40 minutes to make, but after 3 hours and 45 minutes I felt like was rushing it along in order for my family to have it for dinner.  So start this process early and give the bread proper time to raise.  This recipe has a great crusty outside and chewy inside.  I made two loaves so that I could freeze one and eat one fresh for dinner that night.


6 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 tablespoon cornmeal
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water 


In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, yeast and salt.

Stir in 2 cups warm water.

Beat until well blended using a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can. 

On a lightly floured surface, knead in enough flour to make a stiff dough that is smooth and elastic. Knead for about 8 to 10 minutes total. Shape into a ball.

Place dough in a greased bowl, and turn once. Cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled.

Punch dough down, and divide in half. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover, and let rest for 10 minutes.

Roll each half into large rectangle.

Roll up, starting from a long side.

Moisten edge with water and seal. Taper ends. 

Grease a large baking sheet. Sprinkle with cornmeal. Place loaves, seam side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly beat the egg white with 1 tablespoon of water, and brush on. Cover with a damp cloth. Let rise until nearly doubled, 35 to 40 minutes.

With a very sharp knife, make 3 or 4 diagonal cuts about 1/4 inch deep across top of each loaf. Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) oven for 20 minutes. Brush again with egg white mixture. Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until bread tests done.

If necessary, cover loosely with foil to prevent over browning. 

Remove from baking sheet, and cool on a wire rack.

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