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French Bread Recipe

"My husband game me a bread machine for Christmas the year we were married, and I use it about once a week," notes Janet Vink from Geneseo, Illinois. "We like slices of this bread with a spaghetti dinner and often use the leftovers for French toast."
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. + rising Bake: 20 min. YIELD:32 servings

Ingredients

  • 1-1/4 cups water (70° to 80°)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3-1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • GLAZE:
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted, optional

Directions

  • 1. In bread machine pan, place the first five ingredients in the order suggested by the manufacturer. Select dough setting (check dough after 5 minutes of mixing; add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water or flour if needed).
  • 2. When cycle is completed, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half. Roll each portion into a 10-in. x 8-in. rectangle. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seams to seal.
  • 3. Sprinkle a greased baking sheet with cornmeal; place loaves seam side down on prepared pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 20 minutes.
  • 4. Whisk egg and water; brush over loaves. With a sharp knife, make four shallow slashes across the top of each loaf. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired. Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks. Yield: 2 loaves (16 slices each).

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (1 slice) equals 50 calories, trace fat (trace saturated fat), 7 mg cholesterol, 77 mg sodium, 10 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 2 g protein.