No-Knead French Bread
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Excellent European style bread!
2 1/2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons oil
6 cups flour
2 packages (1/4 ounce each) dry yeast
Sesame or poppy Seeds (optional)
1/2 cup cornmeal
Pour warm water (105 – 115 degrees) into a large mixing bowl. Stir in sugar, salt, oil, half of the flour, and the yeast. Beat vigorously 2-3 minutes. Add remaining flour and stir until all dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Leave the spoon in the heavy batter and allow it to rest 10 minutes. Stir down. Allow dough to rest 10 minutes and stir down again. Repeat this process until the dough has been stirred down 5 times.
Turn dough onto floured surface, knead only enough to coat dough with flour (2 or 3 times) so it can be handled.
Divide in half or three parts and roll each into a 9 X 12 rectangle and roll up each from the long side like a jellyroll. Pinch seam to seal dough and arrange loaves on baking sheets that have been sprinkled with cornmeal.
Cover lightly and let rise at room temperature until nearly double in bulk, about 30 minutes.
With a very sharp knife, cut three gashes at an angle on top of each loaf; brush with slightly beaten egg, and if desired, sprinkle with sesame or poppy seed.
Bake immediately 25-30 minutes at 400 degrees or until nicely browned.
Remove from baking sheets and cool on racks.
Deb DeClerck, Moline