This Crusty French Bread is perfect for any meal. It’s an easy, fail-proof recipe that allows for quick rise times, and results in a wonderfully crispy exterior and chewy interior. Great for dunking in soup or slathering butter onto.
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 (.25 oz) packages active dry yeast (be sure it’s fresh!)
- 1 tsp table salt
- 1 TB white sugar
- 1 3/4 cups water at 110F
- 1 TB cornmeal
- 1 egg white, beaten with 1 TB water
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Hand-whisk until well combined. Gradually stir in the warm water (test the temperature with thermometer to ensure it’s right around 110F) and stir until a dough forms. The consistency should be roughly like play-dough, not too sticky but easily forms into a smooth/elastic dough ball. Add 1 TB water at a time as needed to gain that consistency.
- On a lightly floured surface, knead dough 10 minutes. Shape into a ball, place into a well-oiled bowl, and turn dough to lightly coat in oil. Cover bowl tightly with cling wrap and place bowl in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in volume, 30-60 minutes.
- Gently punch dough down and divide in half. Place on lightly floured surface, cover, and let sit 10 minutes. Roll each half into approx. 14×9 inch rectangle. Roll rectangle up lengthwise, moisten edges with water, and pinch tightly to seal. Taper and seal ends.
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Sprinkle evenly with cornmeal. Place loaves seam side down on sheet. Cut diagonal slits into loves on top, about 1/4 inch deep. Brush loaves with egg/water mixture. Gently lay cling wrap over loaves and place in a draft-free warm place until nearly doubled in size, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375F with rack on lower middle position. Place a large pan of water on lowest rack.
- Bake 15 minutes. Brush again with egg/water mixture. Bake another 10 minutes or until bread looks done. Serve warm.
Keywords: French Bread, Homemade Bread, Loaf Bread