Saturday, January 01, 2005

French Bread

5 cups – hot water
¼ cup – butter
2 tablespoons – sugar
5 teaspoons – salt
2 tablespoons – instant yeast
11-12 cups - white flour

2 egg whites
1 ½ teaspoons – water

Combine water, sliced butter, sugar and salt in a big mixer. Add about five cups of flour and place yeast on top of the flour. Mix the dough to make a wet batter and let it rise for 15 minutes. Add about six-seven cups of flour for the dough to come off the sides of the bowl. Place the dough on a bread board and knead. Put in a large greased bowl and let it rise for 40 minutes. Punch down and let it rise for 40 minutes again. Divide the dough into 4 parts. Take each part and, using a rolling pin, roll into a rectangle. Roll the dough up lengthwise and place on a large cookie sheet that is covered with parchment paper. Put only two loaves on each cookie sheet. Let the loaves rise for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 °F. Cut diagonal strips in the loaves. Mix the egg whites and 1 ½ t. water to coat the loaves. Spray water from a spray bottle onto the loaves just before putting them in the oven. Bake for 40 minutes.