Sunday, February 15, 2009

French Bread

1 Package Active Dry Yeast or 1 cake compressed yeast Water*
1 Cup Boiling Water
1 Tablespoon Shortening
2 Teaspoons Salt
1 Tablespoon Sugar
6 Cups Sifted Bread Flour
1 Egg White

*Use very warm water (105F to 115F) for dry yeast; use lukewarm (80F to 90F) for compressed yeast. Sprinkle dry yeast or crumble cake into 1/4 cup water. Let stand for a few minutes; then stir until dissolved.

Pour boiling water over shortening, salt, and sugar in large mixing bowl. Add 3/4 cup cold water and cool to lukewarm.

Add yeast and gradually beat in enough flour to form a stuff dough.

Turn out on floured pastry cloth or board and knead until smooth and satiny.

Put in greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled, about 2 hours.

Shape into 2 oblong loaves about 12 inches long. Place on parchment paper.

Brush with beaten eg white and with knife, make 3 slashes across top.

Let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Place in a pre-soaked greased Romertopf French/Italian Bread Baker along with the parchment paper. Bake in a cold oven 425F for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350F, bake for 20 minutes more.

Makes 2 loaves.

Purchase your Romertopf Clay Cookware:

French Bread, originally uploaded by Chef Madd Maxx.

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