February 2, 2014

French Bread

I will never buy a loaf of french bread again.  This stuff is 100 times better than anything you'll get from the store.  The longer that you let it rise, the more airy it will be, but I've let it rise as little as 30 minutes and it was still great.  This also makes a great pizza crust.  One recipe makes enough for 2 pizzas. This is originally from Deals to Meals.

2 1/2 c. warm water2 Tbsp yeast3 Tbsp sugar2 Tbsp. white vinegar

Add the above ingredients together and let sit until bubbly (about 3-5 minutes). Then add:

1 Tbsp. salt1/3 c. oil (I use Canola)
6-7 c. flour (or a little more if it's too soft), one cup at a time--add enough until the dough is soft, but firm enough to mold into dough loaves

Knead for 2-5 minutes and then put in the oven with a small pot of boiling water. The water will keep the dough moist. Watch the dough and punch it down when it gets to the top of the mixing bowl. Do this every time it gets to the top of the bowl, as long as you have time to babysit it (2-5 times). Put the dough on a greased countertop and divide into 2 to 4 sections, depending on how large of loaves you want. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and sprinkle a thin layer of cornmeal on the bottom of the sheet. Roll the dough balls into rectangle/long French bread shapes. Slash tops of bread diagonally 3-5 times and cover with a beaten egg. Let rise 30 minutes (or until doubled) on the counter.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

With the leftovers, if you have any, make an open faced hot hoagie or orange juice french toast. (Instead of mixing milk with the eggs, mix OJ)

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