Crusty French Bread (Mixed in a Bread Machine)
• 1 cup lukewarm water
• 1-1/2 teaspoons shortening or butter
• 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
• 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
• 3+ cups bread flour
• 1 teaspoon instant yeast
• Glaze: 1 egg white + 1 teaspoon water whisked together well.
1. Place all ingredients in bread machine pan in order listed. Start dough cycle. After 5-10 minutes, lift the lid and check dough. If dough is too sticky (levels out), add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time. If dough is too dry, add water a teaspoon at a time. Dough should be a loose ball that sticks to the sides, then pulls away.
2. When dough cycle is complete, turn dough out onto lightly floured board. Roll into oval shape slightly longer than you want your final loaf to be. Starting from long side, roll into a cylinder shape. Pinch seam together. Turn over so seam is hidden. Pinch ends together and turn under making a small rounded shape on each end. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rise in warm place.
3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Make glaze and brush over loaf. Using a sharp knife, (I use a serrated knife) or a single edge razor blade, cut diagonal slashes about 2 inches apart and ½ inch deep across the top of loaf.
4. Bake loaf for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake another 5-10 minutes until golden brown. Remove to cooling rack or slice and eat immediately.
Recipe courtesy of Salad in a Jar