Tuesday, May 7, 2013

French Bread

There are a few tips at the bottom so make sure that you read those before you get started!
1 1/4 cups water (70 to 80 degrees F)
2 teaspoons sugar                                    
1 teaspoon salt                                                                     
3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon cornmeal                                                                                                         
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted (I don't use these)
In bread machine pan, place the first five ingredients in the order suggested by the manufacturer. Select dough setting (check dough after 5 minutes of mixing; add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water or flour if needed).
When cycle is completed, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface.
Divide in half.
Roll each portion into a 10-in. x 8-in. rectangle.
Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seams to seal.
Sprinkle a greased baking sheet with cornmeal; place loaves seam side down on prepared pan.
Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 20 minutes.
Whisk egg and water; brush over loaves.
With a sharp knife, make four shallow slashes across the top of each loaf.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired.
Bake at 375 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool on wire racks.

I also tend to splash a tiny bit of water in the bottom of my oven and on the sides it makes the bread crispier.  ;)
Also after I bake these I like to slice them in half lengthwise slather on some butter, garlic powder, and onion powder, and occasionally parmesean cheese.  SOOOO yummy.

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