Thursday, January 7, 2010

French Bread

I really love bread. I could eat it all day. Here is a recipe I really like.

French Bread
6 1/2 -7 cups flour
2 pkg yeast (7 tsp) *see note below
2 1/2 cup water
2 Tb sugar
1 Tb salt
1 Tb shortening
yellow corn meal

*I just realized that 2 pkg of yeast to not equal 7 tsp...but that is how the recipe came to me. I have prepared this dough both ways and it didn't seem to make a difference. Maybe that's why I only needed about 30 minutes to rise last time. I'll experiment with yeast quantities and get back to you.

In large bowl combine 3 cups flour and yeast. In saucepan heat water, sugar salt and shortening just until shortening starts to melt.
(looks like this at first)

(now it's ready!)

Add to flour mixture, beat at low speed 1/2 minute, scraping bowl. Then beat 3 minutes at high speed. Stir and knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Turn onto floured surface and knead in remaining flour. Knead until smooth and satiny, about 10 minutes. (This is when you would add rosemary leaves or other ingredients if desired.)

Rise in oiled bowl until doubled (cover with damp cloth). The recipe says this should take 1 1/2 hours, but I never have to wait longer than about 30 minutes.

Pour out onto floured surface.

Divide into 4 loaves.

Shape loaf by flattening into rectangle...

then roll up...

pinch ends together...

roll ends up...

then flip over onto cookie sheet spread with cornmeal.
Slash tops and cover. Let rise until double.

Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes.


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