It's a cold day in Oneonta. The kind of day where all you want to do is snuggle in a blanket. It's a day for soup or stew, which is on the menu tonight. To accompany the stew, how about French bread? Sounds good to me, and here's how you can do it.
First, crack out that bread machine. Don't have one yet? Well, put it on your Santa list. Some people have asked me why I like my bread machine so much. The answer is simple, it makes life easier in the kitchen. The same as a stand mixer or food processor does.
So now that you dusted off the bread machine here's the recipe.
1 1/4 c. warm water
1 tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt (I used Kosher salt)
3 1/2 c. bread flour
2 tsp. active dry yeast
In the bottom of your pan, put in water, sugar, and salt. Gently pour the flour on top, and make a small well in the flour. Add the yeast in the well. Run your machine on the dough cycle for 1.5 lb loaf.
Once the dough cycle is complete, turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Divide it in two, set aside one piece of dough.
Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 12"x15" rectangle. Starting with the long end, tightly roll the dough. Turn the ends under and pinch the seam. Then lay the dough on a french bread pan or on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Repeat with the other piece of dough.
Cover with a towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 40 minutes. Then make three slices across the top of the bread, being careful not to cut all the way through. Mix two tablespoons of water with 1/2 tsp. salt. Brush this across the top of the dough.
Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.