Saturday, January 29, 2011

French Bread

**Originally posted in 2006 on my old cooking blog. I still make this often. Nowadays, I like adding Italian herbs to the dough.

This is a very easy bread recipe to make. I would recommend it as a first bread recipe to try, if you are new to bread making.

This makes 2 small loaves, but I usually make just one large loaf instead. It freezes great!

1 pkg. or 1 tablespoon yeast
1 tablespoon sugar or honey
1 cup warm water(110-115 degrees)
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
3-3 1/2 cups flour
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons milk

In a bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Add oil and salt and enough flour to make a stiff(a little sticky though) dough. Knead 10 minutes on a floured board. (If you have a heavy duty mixer, dissolve yeast and water in mixer bowl. Add oil and salt and mix at low speed for a little bit. Then add flour to make a stiff dough(for best results, dough should be relatively easy to handle but still on the sticky side.) Mix on medium to high speed for 5-8 minutes or little longer until dough is mixed well.)
Place in a greased bowl, turning once. Let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 -2 hours. Punch down and let rest 15 minutes. Divide dough in half. Roll each half on a greased surface into a 15-inch long log. Place on greased cookie sheets sprinkled with cornmeal and make 5 slashes diagonally across tops.
Mix egg and milk and brush on top of loaves. Let rise until double, about 1 hour. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.

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