Friday, November 21, 2008

French bread or rolls

French bread or rolls:

12 cups flour
3 tablespoons dry active yeast
6 teaspoons salt
6 cups warm water
a bit of cornmeal

Add the yeast to the warm water. Let sit for about 5 or 10 minutes. Add the salt. Then add about 2/3 of the flour and mix well. Let the dough rest for about 10 minutes. Add the rest of the flour (this can be difficult - you will probably have to knead the flour in to the dough, rather than mixing it in). Knead the dough for about 10 minutes. Spray a bowl with Pam. Put the dough in the bowl and put it in warm place (you can set the oven to 100 F if you like) until the dough has doubled in size. Punch the dough down to get rid of all the air bubbles. Let it double in size again. Preheat the oven to 450 F. Cut the dough in to pieces with a sharp knife. Peach-sized pieces for rolls, much larger for baguettes. Arrange the dough on baking sheets that have been sprinkled with cornmeal. Cut slits in to the top of the bread if you like. Let the dough rise again - it doesn't have to double this time, but it should look bigger and puffy. Sprinkle a little bit of water on top of the dough. Put a pan of water in to the oven with the dough. Don't open the oven too much becuase you want it to be really hot in there. Bake about 25 minutes, or at least until the bread is golden brown.

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