Sunday, January 25, 2009

French Bread



1 pkg dry active yeast
2 c. lukewarm water
1 tbsp. salt
6-8 c. flour
cornmeal...for sprinkling

Combine the yeast and the water in a large bowl. Stir and let dissolve for 15 minutes. Add the salt, then add the flour 1 c. at a time, beating with a wooden spoon until you obtain a smooth dough. Transfer to a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Shape into a ball and place in a large greased bowl and cover with plastic. Leave to rise in a WARM place for 2-4 hrs until doubled in size. Transfer to a lightly floured surface, cut into 2 equal pieces and roll each piece into a long rope like loaf. Place on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal and let rise for another 15 minutes. Score the tops with a sharp knife and brush with water lightly. Place in a COLD oven and place a bowl of BOILING water on the bottom rack. Set oven to 400 degrees F. Bake until crusty and golden, and hollow when patted on the underside. Usually about 30-40 minutes. Enjoy!!!

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