Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Homemade French Bread

The best part about baking your own bread, is the way it makes the whole house smell. It's raining outside and I have hot, fresh bread. Ahhhh, what a perfect day. All I need now is a good chic flick.
This is a super easy bread to make. No bread machine needed!

You need:
2 cups warm water (110 degrees)
1 tbsp. active yeast
1 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
5 cups bread flour
cornmeal, for sprinkling cookie sheet

Dissolve yeast in warm water, with the sugar. Let sit for about 10 minutes to foam up.
Add 3 cups of flour, the vegetable oil, and the salt. Mix well for 2 minutes. (I used my kitchen aide stand mixer)
Stir in the remaining 2 cups of flour and pour onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, until smooth.
Place the dough into a well-oiled bowl and cover. Let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
Punch dough down and divide in half.
Grease a cookie sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal.
Shape each halve into a loaf form and set on cookie sheet.
Make 3-4 diagonal cuts into each loaf.
Cover again and let rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
I sprayed some spray-butter on each loaf before baking to give the crust a little extra crunch, and for some nice color.
Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.

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