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    • #576674
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      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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