As you know by now, I love soups! And what goes perfectly with soup? Bread, of course! While I love my 100% Whole Wheat Bread, sometimes I just want a good old crusty bread instead. This classic French bread is the perfect thing to make when I’m in that mood. Plus, there is just something satisfying about making things from dough, don’t you think?
I’ve eaten lots of French bread but the first time I had this particular recipe was when my husband’s cousin made it for us a couple of years ago. All of us that were there for dinner that evening couldn’t get enough of it! The thought of making my own French bread always seemed daunting to me, but she insisted that it was really very simple. So, I bravely asked her for the recipe and determined to make it myself. And of course she was right, it really is quite simple!
Try it yourself- you’ll love how easy it is to feel like Martha Stewart! 🙂
(I did want to note that your crust will be much prettier than what mine is in the picture. I was busy taking care of my 2 little ones while I made this and as a result forgot all about the egg white wash. The bread was still good but it was missing that beautifully delicious, shiny crust that makes it amazing. So definitely learn from me and make sure you don’t forget to do that!)
Classic French Bread
1/2 c. lukewarm water
2 Tbsp. yeast
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 c. hot water
1 Tbsp. shortening
1 Tbsp. salt
7-7¼ c. Occident flour (bread flour)
1 egg white, lightly beaten mixed with 1 tbsp. water
1. Mix ½ c. water, yeast and sugar. Set aside.
2. Add shortening and salt to 2 c. hot water; cool until lukewarm. Add yeast mixture then gradually add flour until soft dough.
3. Knead until smooth, about 10 to 12 minutes. (I use my Bosch mixer to do this.)
4. Place in greased bowl, cover with damp cloth, let rise until doubled.
5. Divide in half. Grease a baking sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal.
6. Shape loaves into narrow rolls, the length of the sheet. Slash top several times with sharp knife. (I do this about 4 different spots across the loaf.)
7. Brush with egg white/water mixture.
8. Let rise until double.
9. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until lightly browned, brushing with egg white/water mixture after 15 minutes of baking.
Yield: 2 loaves