French Bread

Oxmoor House
2 loaves

Ingredients

+ Add To Shopping List
6 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 packages dry yeast
2 cups water
1/4 cup shortening, melted
1 egg white, beaten

Preparation

Combine 2 cups flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in large mixing bowl. Set aside.

Combine water and shortening in a small saucepan, and cook until very warm (120° to 130°); add to flour mixture. Blend mixture at low speed of an electric mixer until dry ingredients are moistened. Beat 3 minutes at medium speed. Stir in 3 1/2 cups flour to make a soft dough.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic, working in 1/2 cup flour, if needed.

Shape dough into a ball; place in a greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

Punch dough down; divide in half. Cover and let rest 5 minutes. Shape each half into an 18- x 3-inch loaf. Place loaves 4 inches apart on a lightly greased baking sheet.

Cut diagonal slashes, 1 1/2 inches apart and 1/4-inch deep, across top of each loaf. Cover and repeat rising procedure 35 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 350°, and bake 25 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped.

Remove baking sheet from oven; brush each loaf lightly with beaten egg white. Return bread to oven 2 minutes. Remove bread from baking sheet immediately; cool on wire racks.

Created date

February 2010