Tuesday, June 14, 2011

French Bread

Sometimes when I eat this I feel like I died and went to carb. heaven. (Carbs are included in heaven for those that doubt. I'm almost positive!)
I got this recipe from a friend at work who got it from her friend, Diane, who she used to work with. (I think that was the connection)
Regardless though...IT. IS. AMAZING!

This bread is super easy for those that get intimidated by yeast and homemade bread. The hardest part is shaping it and really, it can be any shape you want! The more creative you get, the harder it is to mess up :)
*One note, unless you have the baguette pans, which I don't, this will not look like a baguette of french bread. It will be more of a round artisan bread shape.


3 C very warm water

2 pkgs yeast

¼ C Sugar

1 Tbl. Salt

2 Tbl. Shortening

7-8 C Flour

Mix all ingredients and 4 cups of the flour. Add remaining flour ½ C at a time. Let raise 1 hour punching down every 10 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes. Divide into 2 or 3 loaves (depending on how big you want them--if you do 2 loaves one loaf will be plenty for a dinner for 5).

Let raise another hour. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

**To get the slits as shown in the bread above, before letting the bread rise the final time (after you shape it) cut slits, in whatever shape you want, about 1/2 inch deep into the dough and let rise. The slits will become bigger as the bread rises and bakes.

Some popular designs to cut are, the checkerboard as shown above or 3 small lines in the top of the bread.

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