Mom's French Bread

Southern Living
2 loaves


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1 (1/4-ounce) envelope active dry yeast
2 cups warm water (105° to 115°)
4 1/2 to 5 cups bread flour, divided
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 egg white
2 tablespoons water


Combine yeast and 1/4 cup warm water in a 2-cup glass measuring cup; stir in remaining 1 3/4 cups warm water, and let mixture stand 5 minutes.

Combine 4 cups flour and sugar in a large bowl. Stir in yeast mixture and oil.

Cover dough, and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 30 minutes.

Add salt and enough remaining flour to make a stiff dough, beating at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric mixer 6 to 8 minutes. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

Divide bread dough in half, and shape each portion into a 12-inch loaf. Place each loaf on a lightly greased baking sheet sprinkled evenly with 2 tablespoons cornmeal. Cover loaves, and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

Bake at 425° for 15 minutes. Stir together egg white and 2 tablespoons water. Brush over loaves, and bake 5 to 10 more minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped.

Created date

October 2003