I've been looking for a good French Bread recipe and think I have finally found one :) We absolutely love French bread in our house :) My hubby has been to France several times (I've only been once, but hopefully we'll return soon), and we always talk about how amazing their bread (and croissants.... and crepes.... and mozarrella....mmmm) is. This bread of course isn't as amazing as the bread you get in France, but it's definitely a wonderful tasty loaf. Yummy :) Enjoy :)
6 cups All-Purpose flour
2½ pkgs. yeast (.25 oz. pkg. each)
1½ tsp. salt
2 cups warm water (110° F/45° C)
1 Tbsp. cornmeal
1 egg white
1 Tbsp. water
In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, yeast and salt. Stir in 2 cups warm water, and beat until well blended using a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.
On a lightly floured surface, knead in enough flour to make a stiff dough that is smooth and elastic. Knead for about 8 to 10 minutes total. Shape into a ball. Place dough in a greased bowl, and turn once. Cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled.
Punch dough down, and divide in half. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover, and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll each half into large rectangle. Roll up, starting from a long side. Moisten edge with water and seal. Taper ends.
Grease a large baking sheet. Sprinkle with cornmeal. Place loaves, seam side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly beat the egg white with 1 tablespoon of water, and brush on. Cover with a damp cloth. Let rise until nearly doubled, 35 to 40 minutes.
With a very sharp knife, make 3 or 4 diagonal cuts about 1/4 inch deep across top of each loaf. Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) oven for 20 minutes. Brush again with egg white mixture. Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until bread tests done. If necessary, cover loosely with foil to prevent over browning. Remove from baking sheet, and cool on a wire rack.
* Recipe found at allrecipes.com