This recipe makes two easy and delicious French bread loaves. It is delicious with any meal but especially Italian food. The crust is crispy and crunchy, the center is chewy.
- 2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 cups very warm water
- 6 cups bread flour
- cornmeal to sprinkle on pans under the bread
- 1 egg white combined with 1 Tablespoon water
- Combine warm water and yeast in the mixer bowl and let set until frothy.
- Add 2 cups of flour and salt, mix. Let set for 10 minutes.
- Add the rest of the flour and knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
- Place dough into a greased bowl and let rise until double.
- Grease a baking sheet and sprinkle cornmeal over.
- Punch dough down and shape into long loaves.
- Place loaves onto baking sheet.
- Brush loaves with egg white mixture.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Cover with damp cloth and let rise until double.
- With a very sharp knife or razor blade, slash 4-5 14 inch deep cuts into top of each loaf.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Remove and brush with egg white mixture again.
- Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes.
- Remove from pans and cool on racks.