More recently, I invested in an automatic breadmaker, which makes fine bread, though I can't say I use it all that often.
Today, though, as we hit the day when gluten is again allowed in our diet, I decided to bake some bread the old-fashioned way. I searched for a recipe that doesn't involve dairy, since dairy isn't on the docket until Friday, and found one for French bread. Simple!
Meanwhile, David made a yummy sauce for pasta—yay pasta! Can't wait for dinner!
Here's the bread recipe. The first rise didn't take (I put it in a place that was a little too cool), so I warmed the oven a bit and let it rise in there. From then on, everything went perfectly.
French BreadPrep time: 135 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 165 minutes
- 2 cups warm water, 95 to 110° F
- 2 1/4 tsp or 1 pkg (1/4 oz.) active dry yeast
- 2 Tb sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 5 1/2 cups bread flour, about
- 1 egg white
- Sesame or poppy seeds
- In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, sugar, and salt. Stir until dissolved. Mix in flour, a little at a time, until a soft dough is formed. Turn dough onto floured board and knead for about 8 minutes. Put dough in greased bowl and flip over so the dough top is lightly greased. Cover with clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- Punch down dough. Give dough a quick 2-minute knead. Divide into 2 equal halves. Shape each half into a long loaf. Place loaves on a lightly greased baking sheet. Make about 5 diagonal slits, 3/4 inch deep, into the top of each loaf. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 400° F. Brush loaves with egg white and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds. Bake at 400° for 5 minutes. Remove loaves from oven and use mister to spray the tops of the loaves with cold water. Turn oven down to 350° and bake for another 25 minutes or until done. Remove loaves from baking sheet and let cool on rack.