An easy to make bread recipe that is delcious right out of the oven. It also make good mini grilled cheese sandwiches or French toast. This recipe makes two loaves but the first was immediately eaten. I made french toast and garlic toast with this recipe and it is delicious.
2 1/2 t active dry yeast
2 C water 100-110º F
1 T sugar
1 T Salt
5 1/2 C bread flour plus 1/2 C for kneading
Preheat oven to 425º F. Line two French loaf pans with parchment paper.
In medium sized bowl add water, salt, and sugar and mix. Add yeast and let sit for a 2-3 minutes. Add flour and combine until dough pulls away from sides of bowl.
Turn dough onto lightly floured board and knead and rotate dough in 90º turns for two minutes adding flour as needed to prevent sticking.
Return dough to oiled bowl and turn so dough is oiled top and bottom. Cover with towel or plastic wrap and let rest until dough doubles in size. Ususally in about 1 1/2 hours.
Gently deflate the dough and cut in half.¹ Shape into two French style loaves and place in prepared pans. Cover with cloth or parchment paper and let rise until puffy, about 35-45 minutes.
Slash tops of loaves three times diagonally¹ and place in middle of preheated oven. Add pan of water to lower shelf.
Bake until crust is golden brown about 30 minutes. To get extra crusty loaf, let stand in oven that is turned off. Remove from oven and cool on rack.
1 I oil my knife prior to cutting the dough in half and before diagonally slashing the loaves. The knife blade doesn’t pull or tear the dough.