French Bread

This is a very easy homemade bread recipe from Taste of Home magazine. It makes two huge loaves. Next time I plan to cut the recipe in half to make two smaller loaves. I didn’t have any bread flour so I used all-purpose flour, and it worked out fine. I’ll try bread flour next time.

French Bread

2 T active dry yeast
2 c warm water (110 – 115 degrees)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
4 1/2 to 5 c bread flour
1 tsp cornmeal

1) In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water; let stand 5 minutes.
2) Add the sugar, salt and 2 c flour; beat until smooth.
3) Stir in enough remaining flour to form soft dough.
4) Turn dough onto floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 – 8 minutes.
5) Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top.
6) Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about one hour.
7) Punch dough down and turn onto a lightly floured surface.
8) Divide dough in half; shape into 12 in long loaves.
9) Place seam-side down on a greased baking sheet.
10) Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 mins.
11) Sprinkle with cornmeal.
12) With a sharp knife, make four shallow slashes across the top of each loaf.
13) Bake at 450 degrees for 15-20 mins or until golden brown.

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