French Bread

1 c. lukewarm water
2 pkgs. active dry yeast (1 pkg .25 oz  = 2 1/2 tsp)
2 c. hot water
2 T. shortening
2 T. granulated sugar
4 tsp. salt
7-8 c. all-purpose flour
Evaporated milk
Sesame seeds, poppyseeds or parmesan cheese

Combine the 2 c. hot water, shortening, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Stir to melt shortening and dissolve sugar and salt. Set aside and cool to lukewarm.

Dissolve yeast in 1 c. lukewarm water. I usually let it sit for about 15 min. to activate the yeast really good. Add to cooled shortening-sugar mixture.

Mix in 4 c. of flour and beat until well blended. Add remaining flour to make moderately stiff dough and knead until well mixed.

Cover and place in a warm spot to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch down and divide into 2 balls. Let rise for 10 minutes.

Roll each ball into a rectangle then roll up as a jelly roll. Shape and seal the ends. Place on a greased or lined cookie sheet (1 per sheet). Using a sharp knife, score the top, slanted, about 4 times. Brush with evaporated milk and sprinkle with sesame seeds, poppyseeds and/or parmesan cheese. Press on the top gently so the seeds stay on.

Cover and let rise until almost doubled. Bake at first for 400 for 15 min. brush with egg white mixed with 1 T. water and continue baking for another 15-20 min. If bread is getting too brown, cover with tin foil.

Remove to wire racks to cool. Makes 2 large loaves.

1 comment:

  1. Oh man. I didn't see the two baking times and I just baked it for about 18 minutes. It was not all the way cooked in the middle. Oops! It helps to read ALL the instructions! It was best when you made it, Sandi! So yummy!


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