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French Loaves

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 4-1/2 to 5 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon cornmeal

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add salt, sugar and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  2. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  3. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Shape into 12-in.-long loaves.
  4. Place seam side down on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 450°. Sprinkle with cornmeal. With a sharp knife, make four shallow slashes across the top of each loaf. Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
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