Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New Recipe of the Week: Easy French Bread

It's currently baking in the oven and the smell is torturing me because it smells so. freaking. good.

Here's the recipe (from the More with Less cookbook):
Dissolve:
2 pkg. dry yeast in
1/2 c warm water (105-115 deg.)
1/2 t sugar

Combine:
2 T sugar
2 T fat (I used oil)
2 t salt
2 c boiling water

Cool to lukewarm and add to yeast mixture.

Stir in:
7 1/2 - 8 c flour

Knead 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.  Place in greased bowl, turning once.  Let rise until doubled.  Punch down and let rest 15 minutes.  Divide dough in half.  On floured surface, roll each half to a 12x15" rectangle.  Roll up, starting at 15" edge.  Place loaves on greased cookie sheets and make 4 or 5 slashes diagonally across tops.  Let rise until double.

Mix and brush on:
1 egg, beaten
2 T milk
(I didn't do this because we have no eggs or milk, and I don't like it when things are too brown on top)

Sprinkle on, if desired:
poppy or sesame seeds

Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.

Results: Yummy! (Especially when hot from the oven.) The crust is crunchy, perhaps a bit too much so for my taste, but I much prefer doughy to crunchy, so don't put too much stock in my opinion.

To do differently: Make 2 loaves (I just did half a recipe).

Make again? For sure!  It seemed to take less time than normal bread, too.

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