This is my first try at making bread. This French Bread recipe is so easy that I did it on my first try. Not the prettiest looking but for my first try I am happy with it. This took me about 2 hours but with practice I think I could reduce the time.
2 cups of warm water not too hot or it kills the yeast.
1 tablespoon of dried yeast.
2 teaspoons of sugar.
Combine yeast , water and sugar and store then leave set for 5 minutes. I leave it set while I prepare the dried ingredients.
6 cups of flour saving 1/2 cup for the second kneading.
2 Teaspoons of salt
Put in bowl then combine the yeast that you have let set in the water.Make a hole in the center of the flour and pore it into the hole it will mix easier that way. I mix it with my hands you have to mix it thoroughly to break up the gluten. Then I start adding the 1/2 cup of flour kneading it in until you can form a smooth ball. Do not add too much flour. Once it can form a ball let it set for 15 minutes. Rub a little olive oil around the ball of dough.
Divide the ball of dough in half. Make a rectangle and then roll until you have an oval shape about 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick. I use parchment paper to roll my dough on it does not stick to parchment paper and rolls a lot easier. Fold the ends under so it will raise better and cut slits across the top. Set on a baking sheet and let it stand for about 60 minutes. make sure it is in a warm area. Mine was only 72 degrees and it would not raise so I warmed the oven , turned it off and then I placed the dough in the oven to raise and left the oven door open. It raised very well doing it like that. After about 30 to 45 minutes once it has raised You can place it in the oven.
The oven should be preheated to 400 degrees. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes. Mine only took 15 minutes to bake.