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French Bread

1 Tbsp / 15 ml sugar
2 tsp / 10 ml salt
1 Tbsp / 15 ml shortening
1 cup / 250 ml boiling water
3/4 cup / 175 ml cold water
1 tsp / 5 ml sugar
1/4 cup / 50 ml warm (not hot) water
6 cups / 1.5 L sifted all-purpose flour
1 egg white
1 Tbsp / 15 ml water
1 package active dry yeast

Measure the sugar, salt and shortening into a large bowl; pour
boiling water over and stir until shortening is melted. Add 3/4
cup (175 ml) cold water and cool to lukewarm. Dissolve 1 tsp (5
ml) sugar in the 1/4 cup (50 ml) warm water and sprinkle yeast
over. Let stand 10 minutes, then stir briskly with a fork. Add to
lukewarm water mixture and stir. Stir in 2 cups (500 ml) flour and
beat until smooth. Gradually ad 4 cups (1 Liter) remaining flour
to form a stiff dough, working in the last of the flour with a
rotating motion of the hand. Turn dough onto a lightly floured
board and knead until smooth and elastic, 8 - 10 minutes. Place
dough in lightly greased warm bowl; grease top of the dough by
turning it over once or twice in the bowl. Cover bowl with waxed
paper, then a clean towel. Let rise in a warm place 800 - 850 (270
- 290 C) until double in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours. Punch down risen
dough. Turn onto lightly floured board, cover and let rest 10
minutes. Divide dough into two portions. Shape into loaves by
rolling each portion into a 7" x 16" (18 x 41 cm) rectangle. Roll
lengthwise as for jelly roll. Seal the edges well and taper the
ends to form an oblong. Place on greased baking sheets, seam side
down let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Brush the loaves with
a mixture of slightly beaten egg white and 1 Tbsp (15 ml) water.
Then with sharp knife make diagonal slashes across the tops every
2 1/2" or 3". Bake in a preheated hot oven 400 (200 C) for about
30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 (180 C) and bake 20 minutes longer.


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