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Print this Recipe    French 09

Crusty French Bread

2 packages dry active yeast
2 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon butter (preferably unsalted) or margarine, melted
7 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 egg white
1 tablespoon cold water

Dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed mixer bowl. Add salt, butter,
and flour. Using dough hook, mix on low speed until well blended,
about 1 minute. Knead on same speed (depending on your mixer) for
2 minutes. Dough will be sticky, but do not add extra flour. Place
in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover with plastic wrap,
then a heavy towel. Place in draft-free area and let rise until
doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down and divide in half. Roll each half into a 12 x
15-inch rectangle. Tightly roll each rectangle, from longest side,
tapering ends and folding ends under slightly. Pinch seams to seal.
Place loaves, seam side down on greased baking sheet which have
been dusted with cornmeal, being certain to leave enough space
between the loaves for additional rising. Cover the loaves with
plastic wrap and towel; let rise in draft-free area until doubled,
about 1 hour.

With a sharp knife, make 4 diagonal cuts on top of each loaf. Bake
in preheated 450 F. oven for 25 minutes. Meanwhile, make egg wash
by beating together the egg white and water. Remove loaves from
oven; brush tops with egg wash. Return to oven and bake 5 minutes
longer. Remove from baking sheet and cool on wire racks.

Yield: 2 Loaves


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