So easy, even a caveman can do it. I didn't think it would be easy until I tried it. There are a few steps involved, but the end result is worth it. When I pulled it out of the oven I was afraid it was ruined. It seemed extremely tough on the outside. So tough that I thought it was hard all the way through. As soon as I took my bread knife to it, it cracked open with steam oozing out as my knife slid down easily through the fluffy bread. I was pretty proud of myself, I think you will be too.
French Bread Directions
2 Tbs active dry yeast
2 cups warm water
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
4 1/2-5 cups bread flour
1 tsp cornmeal
In large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the salt, sugar & 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface, knead until smooth & elastic about 6-8 min.
Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover & let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Shape into 12" long loaves.
Place seam side down on a greased baking sheet. Cover & let rise until doubled, about 30 min. Sprinkle with cornmeal. With a sharp knife, make 4 shallow slashes across the top. Bake at 450 for 15-20 min or until golden brown.
I used my french bread to make my favorite sandwich. Spread slice of french bread with pesto, add artichoke hearts from a can, and top with baked rotisserie chicken. I sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and broiled until crispy around the edges. Serve and enjoy!