New Orleans French Bread

Total Time
4hrs 15mins
Prep
3 hrs 30 mins
Cook
45 mins

From "Home Cooking" Magazine. If you've never tried to make a traditional French baguette - it's easier than you think. This recipe makes 4 loaves, perfect for freezing extra bread to accompany future meals all winter long.

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Ingredients

Nutrition
  • 1 (1/4 ounce) package dry yeast
  • 2 12 cups warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 6 12-7 cups flour, divided
  • 1 egg white, slightly beaten

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Combine yeast, water and 1 teaspoon sugar in a large bowl, stirring until dissolved. Stir in remaining sugar, salt and 6 cups flour to form a stiff dough.
  3. Turn dough onto a surface sprinkled with remaining flour; knead dough for 8 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place dough in a greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees), free of drafts, 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in bulk. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover and let rest 15 minutes. Knead 3 to 4 times.
  4. Divide dough into 4 equal portions; roll each portion into a 13x7-inch rectangle. Roll up each rectangle, jelly-roll fashion, starting at a long end. Pinch seams and ends together to seal. Place loaves, seam side down, in 4 heavily greased baguette pans or on baking sheets.
  5. Cut 3 or 4 diagonal slashes, 3/4 inch deep, in top of each loaf. Cover and repeat rising procedure 1 hour or until doubled in bulk. Brush loaves with egg white. Bake 15 minutes, reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 30 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped. Remove bread from pans or baking sheets immediately; cool on wire racks.