Saturday, June 5, 2010
We made french bread yesterday - 4 braided loaves! - to share with our school community. Anita's class made Stone Soup, and all of the children and teachers enjoyed a feast at the end of the day. Here is the recipe we used:
1 package yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups warm water (between 105 – 115 degrees)
7 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup cornmeal
1. In a large bowl, combine yeast, sugar, and ¼ cup warm water and stir. Let sit for 5 minutes. Add remaining water.
2. Add 3 cups of flour and mix well (about 300 strokes). Stir in 2 teaspoons olive oil and salt.
3. Continue to stir in flour little by little until dough begins to form a ball.
4. Place dough on a floured surface. Knead in flour until dough is smooth and stretchy. (You may have some flour left over.)
5. Coat the inside of a large bowl with remaining olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl and cover with a towel. Let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until dough doubles in size.
6. Punch down dough and place on floured surface. Knead again for about 5 minutes.
7. Divide dough in half. Form each piece into a flat 10 by 10 inch loaf. Slice each loaf into 3 long strips.
8. Place 3 strips of dough side by side. Braid dough tucking the ends under. Repeat with remaining 3 strips.
9. Sprinkle 2 cookie sheets with cornmeal. Place each loaf on a cookie sheet and cover with a towel. Let rise for 20 minutes.
10. Preheat over to 400 degrees.
11. Bake for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake for another 30 minutes. For a hard crust, spray leaves lightly with cold water every 5 minutes while baking.