CRUSTY FRENCH BREAD

 

For me, there seems to be nothing more comforting than cooking/baking in the kitchen . The house fills with warm wonderful aromas evoking fond memories of friends and family.  An all time favorite comfort food is homemade bread. My mother baked bread for our family nearly everyday. Running into the house after school to a loaf of hot steamy bread, heaven. She would slice up a loaf as our after school snack and smother the pieces in butter with a choice of other spreads; peanut butter, cinnamon and sugar or honey.  That loaf did not last long. Bread baking gives me great comfort taking me back to long afternoons in the kitchen with my mom . Smelling the yeast activate, watching the bread rise and the calming strokes of kneading the dough. As we move thru these uncertain times create a comforting memory.

 

2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
5 – 5½ cups bread flour

Preheat oven to 375°. Dissolve yeast and sugar  in warm water (110°) in large bowl; allow yeast to proof or foam (about 10 minutes). Add
oil and 3 cups flour; beat for 2 minutes. Stir in 2 cups flour and salt to make a stiff dough. Place in oiled bowl, turn dough to coat all sides,
cover and let rise until doubled. Punch down and divide in half. Shape
dough into two long slender loaves. Grease a large cookie sheet. Place loaves  on the pan and cut diagonal gashes on top of each loaf (I use scissors). Cover and let rise until doubled. Bake for about 30 minutes. Note: You can sprinkle
or spray water on the loaves during baking if you want a really
crunchy crust

.Bon appetite!
Innkeeper
Avenue Hotel Bed and Breakfast

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