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Herbed French Bread

Yield 2 loaves

Ingredients

  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (105° to 115°)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon marjoram leaves
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried whole dill
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried whole thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon shortening
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • Poppy seeds

How to Make It

  1. Dissolve yeast in water in a small mixing bowl. Let stand 5 minutes or until bubbly.

  2. Combine sugar, salt, marjoram, dill, thyme, and rosemary in a large mixing bowl; mix well. Add shortening and dissolved yeast, stirring well. Gradually add flour, stirring until dough leaves sides of bowl. Let rest 10 minutes.

  3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place dough in a greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in bulk.

  4. Punch dough down; turn out onto a floured surface. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or cheesecloth, and let rest 10 minutes. Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a 12- x 9-inch rectangle. Roll up each rectangle jellyroll fashion, starting at long end. Pinch seams and ends together to seal. Place loaves, seam side down, in 2 heavily greased baguette pans. (Baking sheets may be used instead of baguette pans.)

  5. Cut 6 diagonal slashes, 3/4- inch deep, in each loaf. Cover and repeat rising procedure 1 hour or until doubled in bulk. Bake at 425° for 20 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped. Brush with butter; sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake an additional 5 minutes. Remove from pans; cool on wire racks.

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