- June 20, 2019 at 4:25 pm #576674mosParticipant
Classic and Crusty French Bread
2 cups warm water, 95° to 110°
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
2 tbs sugar
2 tsp salt
5 1/2 cups bread flour
1 egg white, lightly beaten
Garnish: sesame seeds or poppy seeds
Preheat oven to 400°.
In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, sugar, and salt. Stir until dissolved.
Mix in flour, a little at a time, until a soft dough is formed.
Turn dough out onto a floured board and knead it for about 8 minutes.
Put dough in greased bowl and flip dough over so that the dough top is also lightly greased. Cover with clean kitchen towel and let rise in warm, draft-free place for about 1 hour or until double in size.
Punch down dough.
Give the dough a quick 2-min knead.
Divide dough into 2 equal halves. Shape each half into a long loaf.
Place loaves onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Make about 5 diagonal slits, 3/4-inch deep, into the top of each loaf.
Cover loaves and let rise for 45 minutes or until double in size.
Optional: Brush loaves with egg white for a shiny crust, and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds.
Bake at 400° for 5 min.
Remove loaves from oven and use a mister to spray the tops of loaves with cold water.
Turn oven down to 350° and bake loaves for another 25 min or until done.
Remove loaves from baking sheet and let cool on a rack. Serves 20
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