I never imagined bread making could be so therapeutic, could put a smile on my face. Rewarding. Relaxing. I am a far cry from the sullen teenager who wouldn’t and couldn’t do anything in the kitchen. How I wish my mother could be here to see me, all grown up in my own kitchen. Mom always had delicious homemade dishes and desserts. Every night. Funny as she didn’t know how to cook when she married my father (so I was told anyway).
So….we’ll talk bread again. I’m not tired of the subject, are you? Plus….Santa brought me a lovely French loaf pan and it’s amazing. AH-mazing!
What a difference it makes in the end product. I have made French loaves before but the latest batch has been markedly different. The bread is dense, it has a good feel to it…almost like a sourdough loaf. Perhaps the shape of this pan makes for more even baking. It certainly keeps it traditional shape and when I bake on flat baking sheets, there would be the occasional loaf which would spread out…looking more ciabatta-like than oblong.
I snagged this recipe off All Recipes online.
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (110 degrees to 115 degrees)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg white
1 teaspoon cold water
In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the sugar, oil, salt and 2 cups flour. Beat until blended. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a stiff dough.
Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch dough down; return to bowl. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Shape into a loaf 16 in. long x 2-1/2 in. wide with tapered ends. Sprinkle a greased baking sheet with cornmeal; place loaf on baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 25 minutes.
Beat egg white and cold water; brush over dough. With a sharp knife, make diagonal slashes 2 in. apart across top of loaf. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool.
THIS has to be shared at BYOB.
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