I will admit, I AM a bread snob. Have been since my first EVER bite of bread….to know me it to know my bread issue. I think that is WHY I love love to make homemade breads and such. I have tried many a french bread recipes and this one is my favorite.
* I did change just a few things from the original recipe. I needed about 8 c. of flour, just keep kneading in a bit of flour till it is not sticky, when you have it at a “not sticky” point, stop adding flour and knead till nice and smooth. The whole process should take about 6-8 minutes ~ I have found. I also added an egg wash. This gives the bread a nice finished look. I suggest making this into 2 loaves, I also tried to make french bread rolls for beef sandwiches and it worked very good.
Fresh Baked French Bread
2 1/2 c. warm water
2 TB. yeast
3 TB. sugar
2 TB. vinegar
1 TB. salt
1/3 c. oil
6-8 c. flour
1 beaten egg
1 TB. water
Mix the warm water and yeast, let this set for 3 minutes or so till foamy. Add the sugar and vinegar, mix well. Add the salt, oil and flour ~ 1 c. at a time. When to hard to stir, then dump on the counter and knead the rest in. Knead till smooth and elastic, the whole kneading should take about 6 minutes. Put in a lg. greased bowl, cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes.
Divide into 2 ( or for rolls) and shape into a loaf. Grease a cookie sheet (with sides) and sprinkle with cornmeal. Put the dough on the prepared pan. Slash the tops and brush with the beaten egg mixed with 1 TB. water. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise till JUST doubled. Should take about 30 minutes.
Bake @ 375* for 25-30 minutes till a nice brown color. Take off pan and put on cooling rack.
Yield 2 loaves or 1 loave and 6 rolls or 12 large rolls. Enjoy.
Recipe adapted from Deals to Meals.