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french-bread recipe

Date:    Sun, 02 May 93 19:07:57 EDT
 From:    Erika Penzer (penzer@Panix.Com)
 Here is a recipe for French-style white bread, adapted from Julia
 Childs's *The Way To Cook.* This book has a terrific bread section.
 Use about 3 1/2 cups white flour, one tablespoon of
 whole wheat flour, one package of yeast, 2 teaspoons of salt. Mix the
 yeast with a pinch of sugar (or a pinch of flour--just something for it to
 grown on) and about 1/4 cup TEPID water (put your wrist under the faucet
 and it should feel a little warmer than your skin). While the yeast is
 proofing, put the flour and salt in a food processor. When the yeast is
 foamy (about 5 minutes), add it to the flour, process for about 10
 seconds, then start adding room-temperature water while the processor is
 running. Do this slowly so as not to add too much water. When the dough
 begins to ball up on the blade, stop adding water and let the dough rotate
 under the cover about 25 times. Open the processor and feel the dough--it
 should feel a little sticky, but not too gummy. If it feels too wet, add a
 little more flour and let it rotate about 20 more times. Let the dough sit
 a few minutes, turn it out on a floured board or counter, knead it about
 10 times by hand, and put it in a bowl (not oiled) covered with plastic
 wrap or a floured towel in a warm place. (Obviously you can make bread
 without a food processor--I just find it a lot easier.)
 When it has doubled (about 90 minutes), punch it down, knead it about 10
 times, and let it rise again until doubled. Turn it out on the counter or a
 board, shape it into loaves (this recipe makes 2), put the loaves on a
 baking sheet or pizza brick, let them rise for about half an hour. Preheat
 the oven to 450 degrees F and stick a cast-iron frying pan in the bottom of
 the oven. When you put the loaves in the oven, toss 1/2 cup of water into
 the frying pan--the steam makes a nice crust on the bread. Bake at 450 for
 20 minutes, then turn the oven down to 400 degrees. If the loaves brown too
 quickly, cover them loosely with foil. The loaves are done when a
 thermometer inserted into the bread reads 200 degrees F. Eat as soon as
 possible. This bread does freeze well.
 kwvegan vegan