Sunday, September 28, 2008
Ahh bread! You know, I am not a huge bread eater - unless I am at a restaurant, or if it is straight out of the oven. I do however, love working with dough, and get a kick out of seeing it rise successfully. I have made bread before, using a recipe from my mother in law, but this time I chose to make French bread, with Google as my guide. I still have to work on my food photo skills, but I think you can get the idea from the pic - this recipe rocks! Not only was I amazed at how great the bread was, but I was also impressed that I could do this with a 3 month old around. Luckily for me, my husband was home to watch the little guy between risings. I highly recommend this recipe - very easy and well worth the effort!
From: Baking Desserts . Suite 101
* 2 packages dry yeast
* 2-1/2 cups warm water
* 1 tsp. sugar
* 6 cups all purpose flour
* 1-1/2 tsp. salt
Make sure water temperature is 110 to 115 degrees F. Place water in a large bowl and sprinkle with yeast and sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes until yeast dissolves and starts to bubble. Stir in 2 cups flour and salt. Cover and let rise for 1/2 hour.
Then gradually stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. (Knead by pressing on the dough, then folding over and pressing with the heel of your hand.) Then clean the large mixing bowl, grease it with solid shortening, and place the dough in the bowl. Turn it in the bowl so the dough is greased (this prevents the top from cracking as it rises).
Cover the dough and let rise at room temperature for about 2-1/2 hours, until doubled in bulk. With your fist, punch down the dough. Divide in half and place one half on a lightly floured surface.
Using a rolling pin, roll dough to a 12x6" rectangle. Starting with the 12" side, roll up tightly. Seal seams and edges by pinching. Repeat with remaining dough.
Grease a cookie sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal. Place loaves on prepared sheet. Cover and let rise at room temperature until doubled, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray the loaves with a bit of water, then using a blade, made a few slashes across the top of each loaf. Bake at 425 degrees F for 25-30 minutes until loaves are golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet and let cool on wire rack.