Classic French Bread
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 and 1/2 cups warm water (105-115 degrees)
- 3 tsp kosher salt
- 4-4 and 1/2 cups ap flour
- 2 tbs cornmeal
The making of quality French bread is an art and well worth the effort.
- Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water in a large mixing bowl. Let stand until bubbly. 8-10 minutes.
- Stir in salt and enough of the lour to make a stiff dough.
- Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead in additional flour until dough is smooth and elastic. About 10 minutes.
- Place dough in an oiled bowl. Turn oiled side up. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until dough doubles in size.
- Punch down dough and place on a floured surface. Let rest for a few minutes.
- Oil two French bread pans and sprinkle with cornmeal.
- Divide dough into two equal parts.
- Shape each piece into long narrow loaf about 1 inch shorter than the pan.
- Place the dough in the molds, cover with a towel and let rise until double.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- When the loaves have doubled, make three diagonal slashes with a sharp knife on each loaf.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Mist loaves with water after the first 15 minutes of baking to develop a crisp crust.