I am a hardcore carboholic and can't resist most types of bread. One of my absolute favorites has to be a nice slice of crusty french bread. This recipe is a bit time consuming but relatively pain free and I feel like anyone can make this with even the most basic of kitchen tools. I use a stand mixer when I make this bread but feel free to use your muscle power and mix it by hand (I have negative upper body strength so I use my stand mixer).
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
2 cups water
1 tbsp yeast
Using a stand mixer, mix together te flour and salt. Combine the water and yeast together. Add 2 cups of the flour and salt mixture to the water and mix on low for two minutes until combined. Add the remainder of the flour and mix on medium for 5 minutes. Place in a large oiled bowl, cover and leave in a warm spot for approximately one hour until doubled in size.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface and cut in half. Roll each ball of the dough into a 8”X12” rectangle. Roll the dough like a jelly roll from the longest end. Pinch the ends together and place on a baking pan sprinkled with a little cornmeal. Let rise again in a warm spot for approximately half an hour.
Brush tops of the loaves with egg white and make slits in the top with a serrated knife.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Place an ovenproof dish filled with water on the bottom of the oven (this will provide the steam needed to form a nice crust). Bake at 425 for 25 minutes, rotate the pan,
remove the pan of water, and turn the heat down to 350 and bake for another 10-15