French Bread

French Bread
An American version of the classic French bread. Spray or brush with cold water during baking for a crispy crust. The bread is best eaten the day it is made.
Yield: 1 loaf
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cup water
  • 3¼ cup bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2¼ tsp RED STAR Active Dry Yeast
  • 3 Tbsp cornmeal
Instructions
  1. In large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups flour and other dry ingredients. Heat water to 120º to 130ºF. Combine dry mixture and water on low speed; beat 2 to 3 minutes on medium speed. By hand, stir in enough remaining flour to make a firm dough. Knead on floured surface until smooth and elastic, 5 to 7 minutes. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until dough tests ripe.
  2. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface; punch down to remove air bubbles. Roll or pat into a 14 x 7-inch rectangle. Starting with shorter side, roll up tightly, pressing dough into roll. Pinch edges and taper ends to seal. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover; let rise until indentation remains after touching. With very sharp knife, make 2 or 3 diagonal slashes across top of loaf. Brush with cold water. Bake in preheated 425ºF over 30 to 40 minutes. Spray or brush loaf with cold water several times during first 10 minutes of baking for a crisper crust. Remove from cookie sheet; cool.
  3. *You can substitute Instant (fast-rising) yeast in place of Active Dry Yeast. When using Instant Yeast, expect your dough to rise faster. Always let your dough rise until ripe. Traditional methods: use equal amounts; Bread Machine: use ½ tsp Instant Yeast OR ¾ tsp Active Dry Yeast per cup of flour in your recipe. Visit our Lessons in Yeast & Baking for more information on baking.
  4. Recipe featured at Food Wanderings.
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