1 1/2 cups warm water
4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoon yeast
This is so amazingly authentic tasting!
I freeze my yeast because we buy in bulk. If you freeze your yeast, measure it out on a plate before you do anything so it gets to room temp. A packet of yeast has 2 1/4 teaspoon in it, and that will work fine, so don't open up another pack just for that extra bit.
I use a bread machine for the kneading, and then the rest is done by hand.
Place water in your bread machine basket first.
Then half of the flour (I use Whole wheat pastry, but for the true french loaf, use as much white as you can!).
Next sprinkle the salt over the flour.
Add the rest of the flour.
Sprinkle yeast last, on top of that.
Set to basic/specialty and medium.
After the first rise, take it out with oiled hands and turn onto floured surface.
Shape into two long tapered end loaves on a prepared baking sheet or french loaf pan (oil your pan and sprinkle corn meal over it first).
Cut three 1/4 inch slits across each loaf (this may be easier after the first 5 minutes of baking).
Let rise for 15 minutes.
Brush a little oil over the top or melted margarine. I brushed a little soy milk over the top. Traditionally I think they used egg.
Bake at 375 F for about 20 minutes, or until lightly brown on top.. LIGHTLY! Enjoy with some agave and margarine!! Bon appetit!
Source of recipe: I wrote this..