>> Monday, March 9, 2009
Have you ever needed French Bread for dinner and had a hard time stomaching the $1.50a loaf? I have! It is hard to pay $1.50 when you know the ingredients for the one loaf didn't cost more than .25! Well, my Aunt Cheryl gave me this AWESOME recipe for French Bread that you will love! It is SO easy and you can whip out four large loaves in about an 90 minutes. I always make four loaves; eat two for dinner (we are big eaters!), give one away, and freeze one for a later meal (ex: Chicken & Avocado BLT's, Stroganoff Sandwiches, Pesto Chicken Sandwiches, or with Spaghetti/Lasagna). Have fun baking...
French Bread recipe (this amount makes 3 small loaves or 2 large):
2 1/2 c. warm water
2 Tbls. yeast
3 Tbls. sugar
2 Tbls. white vinegar
Add the above ingredients together and let sit until bubbly (about 3-5 minutes). Then add:
1 Tbls. salt
1/3 c. oil (I use Canola)
6-7 c. flour (or a little more if it's too soft), one cup at a time--add enough until the dough is soft, but firm enough to mold into dough loaves
Knead for 2-5 minutes and then put in the oven with a small pot of boiling water. The water will keep the dough moist. Watch the dough and punch it down when it gets to the top of the mixing bowl. Do this every time it gets to the top of the bowl, as long as you have time to babysit it (2-5 times). Put the dough on a greased countertop and divide into 3 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 rectangle/long French bread shapes. Slash tops of bread diagonally 3-5 times and cover with a beaten egg. Let rise 30 minutes (or until doubled)on the counter, or you can put them in your oven at 170 and wait until they are the size you want to cook them at. Once they are to the right size, turn up your stove to 375 (without opening the door!) and let them bake until done. Or, just raise on the counter and bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Enjoy! Dough--can be a little soft, if too sticky, add a little more flour. Put the boiling water in the oven with your bowl of dough to help it rise faster. Cut the dough into two equal parts (or three if you are making smaller loaves). --pictures are of a doubled batch. Slice the dough diagonally and white wash with 1 beaten egg. Bake and serve warm out of the oven!