Mrs. Calvert's homemade French Bread Recipe
-3 cups all purpose flour
-3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
-3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water
1/2 tablespoon cornmeal
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
1. In a large bowl, combine salt, yeast and flour. Stir in 2 cups of warm water and using a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, beat until will blended. Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can, using a wooden spoon.
2. Lightly flour a surface and knead the until the dough is stiff, smooth and elastic. This will take a total of about 8-10 minutes. Shape your dough into a ball, place in greased bowl and turn once. Cover and place in a warm place and let rise double its size.
3. Punch the dough down on a lightly floured surface. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes. Roll the dough starting from a long side into large rectangles. Moisten the edge of the dough with water and seal. Taper ends.
4. Take a large baking sheet, grease and sprinkle with cornmeal. Seam side down, place loaf on the prepared sheet. Add 1 tablespoon of water and lightly beat egg white with it. Brush over the break and cover with a damp cloth. Let sit and rise at least double which is about 35-40 minutes.
5. Across the top the loaf, slice 4 diagonal cuts about 1/4" deep. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and bake for 20 minutes. Again, brush with egg white mixture and bake for an additional 13-18 minutes, or until the bread tests done.
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