Cooking Louisiana  -  French Bread
French Bread is known for it's fluffy inside and crunchy, crusty outside. Don't substitute milk for the water and don't brush the outside with butter. Allow 4 hours to finish this.

Makes 2 loaves

Mix 1
2 pkg. yeast - make sure it's not out of date.
1/2 Cup water - lukewarm 95 - 105ºF
3/4 tsp. sugar

Mix 2
4 ¼ cups bread flour
2 tsp. salt
2 tbs. sugar
4 tbs. cooking oil
1 cup water

Combine Mix 1 in 2 cup measuring cup. Let sit for 10 minutes. Yeast should activate and foam up to almost double in size. If it doesn't the yeast is either no good or you killed it using water that was too hot.

French BreadCombine dry ingredients in Mix 2 and mix well. Add Mix 1, and, water and oil to dry ingredients. Kneed dough for about 10 minutes. I don't know if this recipe will work in a bread machine. If it does let me know.

French BreadDough should be smooth in texture when finished. Be sure to add flour to the working surface to keep the dough from sticking to it and your hands.

French BreadGrease a bowl and put the dough in it and lightly grease the dough. Cover the bowl with a towel and put it in a draft-free 80 - 85ºF place to rise.

French BreadIt should double in size in about an hour and a half.

French BreadPunch it down, divide it in two and shape the loaves. Spray the bottom of the pan with a cooking spray, or just oil it. This pan is a bit large for the size loaves you'll see. [You can also buy special French Bread Baking Pans.]

You can make small slices on the top to make it pretty.

French BreadPlace the loaves in the pan you'll be baking in, cover with a towel and put to rise again for about the same time.

French BreadPre-heat oven to 375ºF. Place loaves in oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or, until they turn golden brown.

French BreadSlice with an electric knife.