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  • Monday, August 24, 2009

    French Bread: Submitted by Fran Quillen

    1 package regular or quick-acting active dry yeast
    1 1/4 cups warm water (105-115 degrees)
    1 tablespoon sugar
    2 teaspoons salt
    3 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour**
    1 tablespoon cornmeal
    Cold water
    1 egg white
    2 tablespoons cold water

    Dissolve yeast in warm water in 2 1/2 quart bowl. Stir in sugar, salt and
    2 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle (dough will be soft).

    Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about five minutes. Place in greased 2 1/2 quart bowl; turn greased side up. Cover and let rise at room temperature until slightly more than double, 1 1/2 to two hours.

    Punch down dough; cover and let rest about 15 minutes. Grease cookie sheet, sprinkle with corn meal. Divide dough into halves. Roll each half into rectangles, about 15 by 10 inches. Roll up tightly beginning at 15 inch side. Pinch edge of dough to seal tightly. Roll gently back and forth to taper ends. Place both loaves lengthwise on cookie sheet. Make 1/4- inch-deep slashes across loaves at two inch intervals, or, make one lengthwise slash on each loaf. Brush loaves with cold water and let rise uncovered until slightly more than doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.

    Heat oven to 375 degrees. Pour 1 cup hot water into rectangular pan, 13x9x2 inches; place pan on lowest oven rack. Brush loaves with cold water. Bake 20 minutes. Remove pan of water from oven. Mix egg-white and 2 tablespoons cold water; brush over loaves. Bake until loaves are golden brown, about 30 more minutes. 2 loaves, (12 slices each); 55 calories per slice.

    **Do not use self-rising flour in this recipe.