Posted by Sara on Dec - 9 - 2013 under Breads
Ingredients

5-6 cups of UNBLEACHED all-purpose flour (whole wheat or 1/2 whole wheat is good, too)
2 (.25 oz) packages of active dry yeast
2 teaspoons of salt (you can add more to your taste)
2 Tablespoons of sugar
1/4 cup melted butter or olive oil
2 cups warm water (110 degrees F)
1-2 Tablespoons cornmeal
Sesame or poppy seeds
additional water for baking
Cooking time: 120 Serving: 2 people

Is there anything better than the smell of homemade French bread baking in the oven on a chilly day? How about with a piping hot bowl of chicken noodle soup? Have no fear, the recipe is here! I make this bread at least three times a week instead of buying store bought. It’s really one of the easiest recipes I’ve tried, and it is easily adaptable.

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl, combine two cups of flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Using a wooden spoon, add melted butter and 2 cups of warm water and stir until smooth. Add as much of the remaining flour as possible, and knead inside the bowl or on lightly floured counter top until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes. I prefer to use the bowl for the first part of kneading to cut back on mess. Place dough in large greased bowl, turning once to coat. Cover with a dish towel and let rise until doubled – about 40 minutes. If you don’t have a “warm place” then you can turn your oven on to 200 degrees F and let the bowl sit near oven. Punch down dough, divide in half, cover and let rest on floured counter top for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, grease two baking sheets and sprinkle with the cornmeal. Roll out each half into a rectangle shape and roll up starting with the long side. Moisten edge with water and seal. Taper ends. Place each roll its own baking sheet, cover with a damp dish towel and let rise until nearly doubled, about 40 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. With a sharp knife, make 5 or 6 diagonal cuts about 1/4 inch deep on the top of the loaf. Brush with water, sprinkle sesame or poppy seeds on top and sides. Bake for 20 minutes, remove loaves and sprinkle with water, and return to oven for about another 20 minutes or until done. You can tell they are done if when you tap the top of the loaf, it sounds hollow. Cool on a wire rack…or eat immediately before anyone else can get to it!!!

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