Yeast Breads

Mom’s French Bread

Mom's French Bread
Recipe type: Bread
Serves: 2 loaves
  • 5½ to 6 cups flour
  • 2 Tbsp. yeast
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • ½ Tbsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. oil
  • 2 cups warm water
  • Cornmeal
  • 1 slightly beaten egg white
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  1. In a large mixing bowl combine 2 cups of the flour, the yeast, and salt.
  2. Add warm water.
  3. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly.
  4. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes.
  5. Using a spoon, stir in as much remaining flour as you can.
  6. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface.
  7. Knead in enough remaining flour to make a stiff cough that is smooth and elastic (8 to 10 minutes).
  8. Shape into a ball.
  9. Place in a greased bowl; turn once to grease surface.
  10. Cover, let rise in a warm place till double (about 1 hour).
  11. Punch dough down.
  12. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface.
  13. Divide in half.
  14. Cover; let rest 10 minutes.
  15. Roll each half into a 15 x 10-inch rectangle.
  16. Roll up from long sides; seal well.
  17. Taper ends.
  18. Place, seam side down, on a greased baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal.
  19. Combine egg white and water; brush over loaves.
  20. Cover; let rise till nearly double (35-45 minutes).
  21. With a very sharp knife, make 3 or 4 diagonal cuts about ¼ inch deep across top of each loaf.
  22. Bake in a 375⁰ oven for 20 minutes.
  23. Brush again with egg white and water mixture.
  24. Continue baking for 15-20 minutes more or till bread tests done.
  25. Remove from baking sheet; cool.
1. Follow the general mixing instructions for whatever mixing device you have.
2. If using rapid rise yeast, skip the first rising. Just let it rest for 10 minutes between kneading and shaping.
3. You can just shape into a log anyway you want. Rolling it into a rectangle is pretty, but I rarely do it that way anymore.