Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Homemade French Bread

1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 ½ cups warm water
1 ½ tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 egg
4-6 cups flour
2 tablespoons cool water

I use a Kitchen Aid with the bread hook attachment but you can also use a large bowl and mixing spoon by hand. Combine the yeast, water and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Allow to stand 5 minutes or until the yeast has bubbled. Add the salt, oil, and egg yolk (set the white aside in a separate bowl for later), mix to combine (with my kitchen aid I use speed 2). Add 3 cups of flour and mix until well combined. Continue adding flour in ½ cup to make a soft dough that barely sticks to your finger. Knead for another 2-3 minutes either with the mixer or by hand. Cover and allow to rise for 1 hour and 45 minutes (anywhere from 1 ½-2 hours will work fine). Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray, punch the dough down and remove from bowl. Place on the cookie sheet and form into a loaf shape. Cover and allow to rise another 1 ½ hours (watch to make sure it’s not getting too large, you can always bake it earlier or let it go longer. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix the egg white with the remaining 2 tablespoons of water and brush over the loaf. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, brush a second coat of the egg wash over the loaf and return to the oven to bake for another 8-10 minutes or until nicely golden brown. Enjoy!

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