Crusty French Bread
Ingredients for Bread
- 1 .25 ounce package active dry yeast
- 2 ¼ cups warm water (110°F-115°F)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 5 to 5 1/2 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon salt
Ingredients for egg wash
- 1 large egg slightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon milk
- Dissolve yeast in warm water in bowl; stir in sugar. Let stand 45 minutes. Stir in 3 cups of the flour and salt; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle.
- Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place into greased bowl; turn greased-side up. Cover; let rise in warm place 1 1/2 hours or until double in size. (Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.)
- Punch down dough; divide into thirds. Shape each third into 15-inch loaf (baguette) or 5-inch round on greased baking sheets. Cover; let rise 30 minutes or until double in size.
- Heat oven to 400°F.
- Stir together egg and milk in bowl; brush over top and sides of loaves. Make 5 diagonal slashes across top of each loaf with serrated knife. Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from baking sheets; cool on wire racks.