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Breads from Rina's Kitchen


French Bread 
Makes 2 large loaves

5 1/2 to 6 cups of all-purpose flour
2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups warm water (110 degrees F)
cornmeal
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
                   
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups flour, yeast, and
   salt. Add 2 cups warm water, and beat with an electric
   mixer fitted with a dough hook on low to med speed for
   30 seconds. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a
   wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as
   you can. 
2. On a lightly floured surface, knead in enough flour to
   make a stiff dough that is smooth and elastic. Knead for
   about 8 to 10 mins total. Shape into a ball. Place dough
   in a greased bowl, and turn once. Cover, and let rise in
   a warm place until doubled. 
3. Punch dough down, and divide in half. Turn out onto a
   lightly floured surface. Cover, and let rest for 10 mins.
   Roll each half into a 15x10" rectangle. Roll up, starting
   from a long side. Moisten edge with water and seal. Taper ends. 
4. Lightly grease a large baking sheet. Sprinkle with cornmeal.
   Place loaves, seam side down, on the prepared baking sheet.
   Lightly beat the egg white with 1 Tbl of water, and brush on.
   Cover with a damp cloth. Let rise until nearly doubled, 35-40 mins. 
5. With a very sharp knife, make 3 or 4 diagonal cuts about
   1/4" deep across top of each loaf. Bake in a preheated 375 degrees
   F oven for 20 mins. Brush again with egg white mixture. Bake for
   an additional 15-20 mins, or until bread tests done. If needed,
   cover loosely with foil to prevent over browning. Cool on wire rack.

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