Saturday, April 16, 2011

Homemade French Bread

I love fresh bread out of the dang yummy!  This recipe is great, and easy for anyone that is scared of baking.  The recipe comes from Deals To Meals, and it is a keeper.  

French Bread
(makes 2 loaves)

2 1/2 c. warm water
2 T. yeast
3 T. sugar
2 T. white vinegar
Add these ingredients together and let sit until bubbly
1 T. salt
1/3 c. canola or vegetable oil
7-7 1/2 c. flour (use enough flour to make the dough workable on the counter, not too sticky, but not too dry--somewhere between 7 and 7 1/2 c. is just right)

In a mixer add the water, yeast, sugar, vinegar, and 3 c. of the flour. Mix until combined. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, or until bubbly and foamy. Add the oil, salt, and remaining flour and knead for 5 minutes. Once the dough is combined and has been kneaded, let the bowl and dough sit on the counter until it doubles in size. You can also do the quick method by putting the bowl in your oven on the bottom shelf with a small pot of boiling water. This will help the dough stay soft and rise more quickly. Either method will work great. Once the dough has risen to the top of the bowl, punch it down and let it rise again. You can do this as many times as you have time for (one is only needed though). The more times you punch down your dough, the more air bubbles your bread will have.

Put the dough on a greased counter top and divide into 2 sections. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and sprinkle a thin layer of cornmeal on the bottom of the sheet. Roll the dough balls into long rectangle shapes. Slash the tops of the loaves bread 3-5 times. Let rise 30 minutes (or until doubled). Bake at 450 for 15-20 minutes-until top of bread is golden brown.

*This site said the bread freezes well, so I'm gonna give it a shot :)

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