Friday, December 19, 2008

Crusty French Bread

Today, the snow is falling and one can hardly see out the window to the street. A winter storm watch is in effect and we may have to cancel our luncheon at the Black Forest.

Today, is a perfect day to be cozy at home, make home made bread or perhaps cookies and watch a borrowed DVD. It is also a good day to do some crochet or making some jewellery.

Imagine the smell coming from the oven as the Crusty French Bread bakes. I love working with yeast and watching it do its own thing. Baking is an art, as is cooking.

I hope you enjoy this recipe.

French Crusty Bread

In a separate bowl, put:

2 1/2 teaspoons of yeast (not instant yeast)
2 tablespoons of white sugar.
2 cups of very warm water (not boiling!)

I usually let this yeast mixture do its own thing for about half an hour. Ten minutes is all it really needs.

Main Ingredients

In another bowl mix well: 6 cups of flour
3 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

After the yeast has done what it needs to do, stir it and then add it to the flour mixture. Mix it all very well, especially to get the salt throughout the mixture.

Warm up your oven for a few seconds just to take the chill off the oven, cover your dough with a damp teacloth and put a couple of toothpicks on top of the dough.

Put in warmed oven and let rise for one hour.

At the end of the hour, punch the dough down and cover it again with the damp tea towel and let rise another two hours.

One can use bread forms to bake it in, or can just shape it yourself and put it on a cookie sheet. Either way is fine.

It is a good idea, if you have it available, to put cornmeal on the bottom of the pan .

Not absolutely essential.

Bake at 350 degree F. until a kitchen knife comes out clean. Probably about 30 minutes but please check it around 20 minutes.

Makes two loaves. One can be frozen if wrapped up well.


No comments: