Sunday, December 25, 2011

Brot - In search of a crusty French loaf

I wanted to make a crusty french bread ala those books I read , so I used this recipe.

Here are the photos I took at the different stages. I skipped out on the first step, because I wasn't sure it would be successful, but it turned out not too bad, though it was more crumbly than crusty. For crusty I had to toast them in my frying pan (I had forgotten the microwave oven again)

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the sugar, oil, salt and 2 cups flour. Beat until blended. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a stiff dough.
Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch dough down; return to bowl. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes. 
Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Shape into a loaf 16 in. long x 2-1/2 in. wide with tapered ends. Sprinkle a greased baking sheet with cornmeal; place loaf on baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 25 minutes. 
Beat egg white and cold water; brush over dough. With a sharp knife, make diagonal slashes 2 in. apart across top of loaf. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool. 

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