French Bread ("Rapid Rise")

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INGREDIENTS

 

5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 packages fast rising yeast
2 cups hot water (125°-130°F)
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
cornmeal

 

 

DIRECTIONS

 

1 Set aside 1 cup of flour.
2 In a large bowl, mix remaining flour, sugar, salt and yeast.
3 Stir hot water into dry mixture.
4 Mix in enough reserved flour to make a soft dough.
5 On lightly floured surface, knead dough until smooth and elastic (about 8-10 minutes).
6 Cover dough and let it rest for 10 minutes.
7 Divide dough in half.
8 Roll half of dough into a 10x15 inch rectangle.
9 Roll dough tightly (like a jelly roll), starting from the long side, and tapering the ends.
10 Pinch ends and seam to seal.
11 Place dough seam side down on greased baking sheet which has been sprinkled with cornmeal.
12 Repeat with remaining half of dough.
13 Cover dough and let rise in a warm draft-free place until doubled in size (about 35-40 minutes).
14 With a sharp knife or razor blade, make 4 diagonal cuts on the top of each loaf.
15 Combine egg white and 1 Tablespoon water, brush on loaves.
16 Bake in preheated 425°F oven for 25-30 minutes or until done.
17 Remove from baking sheets and cool on wire racks.
18 Note: If you want to make baguettes instead of loaves, you can roll the dough into a rope (by hand) to get the longer thinner shape.

 

Active Time: 25 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 25 Minutes
Yield: 12 Servings

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