There is nothing like the smell of fresh baked bread!
3 1/2 C. warm water
1 pkg. yeast (2 1/4 tsp.)
1/4 C. sugar
2 Tbsp. salt
8-9 C. unbleached flour
Dissolve yeast in 1 1/2 C. warm water.
Place remaining 2 C. water, sugar, salt and 3 C. flour into mixer. Stir to combine. Add in yeast mixture. Add remaining lour 1 C. at a time until smooth dough is formed. Knead 5 minutes.
Place dough into greased bowl, turning once to coat, cover bowl.
Let rise in warm spot until doubled in size (about 1 - 1 1/2 hours).
Divide dough and shape into 4 loaves and place on greased cookie sheets (or in french bread pans). As you can see, I am not real exact with shaping my loaves, close enough works for me.
Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.
-This is my family's favorite bread for garlic bread. I am lucky if it last more than 2 days when I make it!
*To make this whole wheat --replace 2-3 C. of the unbleached flour with whole wheat flour and add 2 Tbsp. olive or canola oil. If you have too much whole wheat flour it just doesn't bake up as light and seems to heavy for french bread.
(Tomorrow I will be posting my recipe for Bruschetta which is a great way to use your homemade french bread and mozzarella!)