French Bread

Ingredients

2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups water, room temperature
1 tablespoon egg white, beaten with 1 cold water (optional)

Preparation

1
Mix flour, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in water. Stir thoroughly (by hand or in a mixer) until dough is soft and elastic, about 12 minutes on low speed. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise in a warm place (75 to 85 degrees) until doubled in size, about 2 hours. Punch down dough.
2
Divide dough in half on a floured board and shape into 2 equal rectangles. Form each into a baguette by rolling dough away from you. Continue rolling, pressing outward, until you have a long, thin loaf with slightly tapered ends. Place loaves on a greased baking sheet; loaves will double in size, so make sure there is adequate space between them. Cover the loaves with a floured, clean cloth and let rise until doubled. Score the tops of the loaves.
3
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. At the bottom of the oven, place a baking pan filled with 1 cup hot water; this will create steam. Bake the bread in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake for another 30 minutes or until loaf is brown and sounds hollow when tapped. 5 minutes before the loaf is done, brush with the egg white mixture.

Tools

 



About

From The Joy of Cooking.

Yield:

2 loaves

Added:

December 10, 2009

Creator:

Related Cooking Videos