Last night I stumbled upon a recipe, that I decided to try for dinner, tonight. It called for French bread and I really didn't feel like running to the store to buy some. So, I did an online search and found a recipe for French bread, or baguette. I was super excited, since I love baguette and have never made it before. I cut the recipe in half, threw all the ingredients in my bread machine this morning and set the dough setting. Two hours later, the dough was ready to roll out, form and let rise a 2nd time. Once the bread was baking, I knew that it was going to be one of the best loaves I've ever made. The smell was unbelievable. I think it turned out really well for a first try. The outside is crispy, while the inside is pillow-y soft. The way a baguette should be. We ate 3/4 of it for dinner and I can't wait to toast some up in the morning, to have with homemade strawberry jam!!!
Submitted By: Jenn Hall via All recipes.com
6 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 tablespoon cornmeal
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
1. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, yeast and salt. Stir in 2 cups warm water, and beat until well blended using a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.
2. On a lightly floured surface, knead in enough flour to make a stiff dough that is smooth and elastic. Knead for about 8 to 10 minutes total. Shape into a ball. Place dough in a greased bowl, and turn once. Cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled.
3. Punch dough down, and divide in half. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover, and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll each half into large rectangle. Roll up, starting from a long side. Moisten edge with water and seal. Taper ends.
4. Grease a large baking sheet. Sprinkle with cornmeal. Place loaves, seam side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly beat the egg white with 1 tablespoon of water, and brush on. Cover with a damp cloth. Let rise until nearly doubled, 35 to 40 minutes.
5. With a very sharp knife, make 3 or 4 diagonal cuts about 1/4 inch deep across top of each loaf. Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) oven for 20 minutes. Brush again with egg white mixture. Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until bread tests done. If necessary, cover loosely with foil to prevent over browning. Remove from baking sheet, and cool on a wire rack.
Bread Machine Method: place ingredients in pan according to manufacturer directions. Set to dough setting and continue from step 3.