Well it's been about 20 plus years since I've made homemade bread. So after reading various other self-sufficient blogs and getting inspired I figured it was time for me to get my hands dirty.
So a few days ago I embarked on a simple French bread recipe to see if my skills have improved and if the recipe was truly simple.
Here's the bread recipe I followed:
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (110 degrees to 115 degrees)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg white
1 teaspoon cold water
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 the egg white and cold water together; brush gently over dough. With a sharp knife, make diagonal cuts 2 in. apart across top of the loaf.
Bake at 375 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool.
The recipe was simple to make but I noticed a couple things - the dough took longer to double in size and I think it might have been because I didn't make sure the water temperature was between 110 - 115 degrees.
But I think the bread may have been a hit because, believe it or not, it didn't even last longer than 24 hours! I will make some more soon!
Give it a try - enjoy! :-)