Connecticut and most of New England is about to get pounded with a snow blizzard. We’ve heard everything from 15 to 30 inches of snow! In anticipation that we might be snowed in for a couple of days and can’t get to the supermarket, I pulled out my favorite recipe for easy homemade french bread. This bread is so versatile because it can take you from morning to evening meals and everything in between. I love it with scrambled eggs for breakfast, warmed and served with a salad, or rubbed with fresh garlic and olive oil and toasted for bruschetta. Making bread is so easy and there is very little “hands on time” involved. The results are well worth making your own. Below are the step-by-step instructions. Enjoy!
2 cups of warm water
4 teaspoons of sugar
1 and 1/2 tablespoons of dry active yeast
5 cups of bread flour, plus more for kneading
3 teaspoons of salt
5 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 tablespoon of corn meal
Combine 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1 & 1/2 tablespoons of dry active yeast and 1 cup of warm water and mix gently until dissolved. Cover the bowl and allow to proof.
After about 10 minutes, the mixture will be foamy.
Put 5 cups of bread flour into a Kitchen Aid mixture with the dough hook attached. Add the remaining sugar and add the salt, oil and proofed yeast mixture.
Knead the mixture until it forms a ball, this will take about 3-4 minutes. Do not over mix the dough.
Remove the dough from the mixer, place on a floured surface and cover with a cloth for about 5 minutes to let it rest.
Form the dough into a ball and place into a large oiled bowl. Cover with a cloth or plastic wrap and put in a warm place (near a heating unit) and allow to rise until doubled. This should take an hour or so.
Once the dough has risen, pre-heat the oven to 375° degrees Fahrenheit. Remove dough from bowl and place on a floured surface and sprinkle with flour.
Knead the dough several times adding more flour as needed so it doesn’t stick.
Roll dough into rectangles, approximately 10 x 12 inches.
Roll the dough like you would for a jelly roll, starting at the long end.
Seal the ends and the seam by pinching the dough together.
Sprinkle a baking sheet with about 1 tablespoon of corn meal and put the loaves on the baking sheet seam side down. Using a razor blade or very sharp knife, cut 3-4 slits in the loaves.
Whisk 1 egg and brush loaves with the egg mixture.
Bake for about 35 minutes until golden brown.
Our 2-year old loved helping me with this!