Tuesday, January 18, 2011
BHG French Bread
After packing the husband a sandwich made on last night's French bread and receiving a text at about noon that read "This sandwich is awesome," I knew I should post last night's bread recipe. It wasn't anything that special, but it was easy and it was good. The hardest part was being patient and actually let it rise as much as the recipe stated. (I'm known for relying on rapid-rise yeast and only letting bread dough rise for about half the time I'm supposed to. What can I say? I'm an Aries.)
From Better Homes and Gardens
5-1/2 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
2 packages active dry yeast
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups warm water (120 degrees F to 130 degrees F)
cornmeal, about a tablespoon
1 tablespoon liquid egg whites
1 tablespoon water
In a KitchenAid mixer, stir together 2 cups of the flour, the yeast and salt. Heat the water, and add it to tthe flour mixture. Mix on low to medium speed for 30 seconds, then beat on high for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can. (I think I was only able to add in about 2 more cups.)
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough remaining flour to make a stiff dough that is smooth and elastic. Shape dough into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface. Cover; let rise in a warm place until double in size. (I covered mine with a kitchen towel and let it rise for about an hour on top of the fridge.)
Punch dough down. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Cover; let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly grease a baking sheet with cooking spray. Sprinkle with cornmeal.
Roll each portion of the dough into a 15x10-inch rectangle. Roll up, starting from a long side; seal well. Pinch ends and pull slightly to taper. Place seam side down on the prepared baking sheet. In a small bowl stir together the liquid egg white and water. Brush some of the egg white mixture over the loaves. Cover the loaves - again! - and let them rise until nearly double in size. (The recipe said to let them rise for 35 to 45 minutes, but I know I didn't let mine rise this long. Let 'em sit for a while, and if they look like they're getting a bit larger, you're good.)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Using a sharp knife, make 3 or 4 diagonal cuts about 1/4 inch deep across the top of each loaf.
Bake for 20 minutes. Brush again with some of the egg white mixture. Continue baking for 15 to 20 minutes more - or until bread sounds hollow when lightly tapped. Cool the loaves on wire racks.
Servings Per Recipe 2 loaves (28 slices)
Calories 85, Sodium 128 mg, Carbohydrate 18g, Fiber 1g, Protein 3g