One of the best things about having a baby is that your friends and family bring you dinners. Between my loving church and our supportive school, our family received meals for 6 weeks! Let me just say: I love to cook, but I do NOT turn down any opportunity to have dinner fixed for me. EVER.
A sweet friend from church brought us a delicious dinner accompanied by a perfect loaf of french bread...that was homemade. Unlike my favorite artisan bread recipe, this lovely loaf is light, subtly sweet, silky in texture, with a slightly crisp crust. If you're going to eat fluffy, white bread, you might as well enjoy it this fresh. Think spaghetti dinner, think french toast, think this bacon-cheesy goodness. Well, now you can stop thinking and start making...
Perfect French Bread adapted from Taste of Home
1 package active dry yeast 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F), divided 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar 1 1/2 tablespoons shortening 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 1 egg 4-4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water. Add the sugar, shortening, salt, egg, remaining water, and 2 cups of flour; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn the speed to medium and knead for 8 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.
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. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Flatten into a rough rectangle. Fold in half long ways and pinch the seem. Fold in half long ways again, and pinch the seem. Turn the dough seam-side down and lightly roll from the center to the ends to double the length of the loaf. Place seam-side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover loosely with a dry towel and let rise until doubled.
Slash the loaf four or five times diagonally with a sharp knife.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.
JOIN THE GRACELACED FAMILY!
Sign up below to join our subscriber list for the inside scoop on all the GraceLaced happenings and to receive 10% off your next order!