Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fabulous French Bread

I discovered this fabulous and simple french bread recipe a while ago and we all loved it so much, I could bake it a few times a week. This recipe makes two large loaves and the longer you let it raise, the better and lighter the bread is, so start it early.

2 1/4 cups warm water

2 tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp. dry yeast

1 tbsp. shortening

1 tbsp. salt

6 cups flour

Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water. Mix in the remaining ingredients, adding the flour slowly. Knead for five minutes. Let raise until double. Divide the dough in half and roll out into 12x6" rectangle, then roll the dough to make a long french loaf. Slash the top of the loaves three times diagonally with a sharp knife. OR make two large balls of dough and slash a diagonal tic-tac-toe board on top. (Serve this way as pull-apart bread instead of slices.) Raise until doubled. Bake on greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle the pan with corn meal, if desired. Just before baking, brush with a beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired. Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Cool a bit before cutting. Enjoy!

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