*  Exported from  MasterCook II  *
 
                           Best Ever French Bread
 
 Recipe By     : Pamela Gears
 Serving Size  : 1    Preparation Time :0:00
 Categories    : A1                               Breads
                 Favorites                        French
 
   Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
 --------  ------------  --------------------------------
    2      tablespoons   shortening
      1/4  cup           sugar
    1      teaspoon      salt
    2      cups          boiling water
    2      packages      yeast -- DISSOLVED IN
      1/2  cup           warm water
    1      teaspoon      sugar
    6 1/4  cups          flour
                         vegetable cooking spray -- for spraying pan
                         cornmeal -- for dusting pan
                         EGG WASH
    1                    egg white
    2      tablespoons   water
 
     The following is one of the best and easiest recipes I have ever
 come across for French bread.  I use it as a basic recipe, embellish
 it, and create many different loaves now.  As you will see, it is low in
 fat and sodium and absolutely wonderful.  Pam
 DIRECTIONS
     In a large bowl combine shortening, sugar and salt.  Pour two cups
 boiling water over and mix; cool to lukewarm.  Dissolve 2 packages
 yeast in 1/2 cup warm water and 1 teaspoon sugar.  Add to cooled
 liquid; stir in 6 1/4 cups flour all at once. It will appear as though
 there is too much flour at the start of the stirring process.  Do not be
 alarmed.  Just continue with your stirring process until flour is mixed.
 Cover; allow to stand 10 minutes.  Stir again; cover; allow to stand
 10 minutes.  Continue this for 1 hour total time.  Divide dough in half.
 On floured surface, roll into a rectangle; roll up like a jelly roll.
 Place on baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray and dusted with
 cornmeal.  Cut slashes in top.  Brush each with a mixture made of
 one egg white and e tablespoons water.  Cover and allow to rise until
 doubled, about 30 minutes.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or
 until top test is done.  After 15 minutes in the oven brush once more
 with the egg white mixture.
 VARIATIONS
 1) WHEAT BREAD
     Change white sugar to brown, and make it 1/3 cup instead of 1/4
 cup. Reduce flour to 4 1/4 cups; add 2 cups whole wheat flour.
 2) RYE BREAD
     Change sugar to brown (1/4 cup). Reduce flour to 4 1/4 cups, add
 2 cups rye flour and 2 tablespoons caraway seeds.
 3) CHEESE BREAD
     Add 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar or any other cheese you like.
 4) HERB & ONION
     Add 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning and 1/4 cup minced dried
 onions.   Vary to your liking with dill, rosemary, etc.
 
                    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -