Author: Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes
Recipe type: Bread
Serves: Makes 2 loaves
- 2½ tsp active dry yeast
- ½ cup warm water
- ½ tsp sugar (this feeds the yeast and helps it grow faster)
- Mix the yeast, sugar and the water in a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer and let stand five minutes until the yeast flowers or begins to froth.
- Add to the bowl:
- 3½ cups bread flour (can use all-purpose)
- 1 cup water
- 1½ tsp salt
- Mix well and then knead by hand or on low speed five minutes until you have a slightly sticky dough.
- Place in an oiled bowl, turn once to coat, and let it rise, covered, at room temperature 2 hours.
- Punch down the dough and divide into two. If the dough is too sticky, sprinkle a little flour to make it easier to work with.
- Using the palms of your hand, roll each half into a long rope, about 10-12 inches in length.
- Lightly grease a large baking sheet and scatter 1-2 tsp of cornmeal on it (to keep the bread from sticking)
- Place the two ropes side by side, with at least 5 inches between them, on the sheet.
- Cover loosely with a kitchen towel and let rise at room temperature for 1½ hours.
- Sprinkle some flour on the top of the loaves (this is decorative and therefore optional). With a very sharp blade, make 4-5 diagonal gashes along the length of each loaf.
- About half an hour before the loaves are fully risen, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place a baking stone (or unglazed ceramic tiles) on a rack in the middle of the oven.
- Just before you place the bread in the pan, spray the inside of the oven with water.
- Place the baking sheet on the baking stone or tiles. Close the oven. Spray the sides of the oven again with water five minutes later. (The water ensures a crusty loaf)
- Bake for a total of 25 minutes or until the loaves are golden-brown.
- Cool on a rack before cutting.
Recipe by Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes at http://holycowvegan.net/2009/07/french-bread-easy-but-delicious-recipe.html