Wednesday, January 25, 2012

French Bread

Bread.  I love bread!  This homemade french bread is so tasty and a very versatile bread.  We ate it with soup, as toast, with chicken, and as simple snack.  Warm french bread and honey is one of my new favorite treats!

2 TBSP active dry yeast
2 C warm water
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
4 1/2-5 C bread flour or all-purpose flour
1 tsp cornmeal

I mixed and kneaded my dough in my KitchenAid.  You can mix it by hand, as well!
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water.
Add salt, sugar, and 2 C of flour and mix until smooth on low speed.
Stir in enough of the remaining flour to create a soft dough.
Knead in the KitchenAid for about 4-5 minutes or by hand on a floured surface for 6-8 minutes until elastic and smooth.
Put the dough in a large, greased bowl and cover with a towel.
Let the dough rise for about 1 hour until it is doubled in size.
Punch the dough down and divide it in half.
Shape it into two loaves - about 12" long each.
Grease a baking sheet and place the loaves side by side on the baking sheet.
Cover with a towel and let the bread rise for another 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 450.
When the dough has finished rising, sprinkle with the cornmeal and make four shallow slashes on the top of each loaf of bread.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until the bread is golden brown.

*This recipe is slightly adapted from Taste of Home.

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