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French or Italian Bread

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This recipe is very basic, simple and delicious main meal accompaniment.  Double this recipe for large families!

2 1/2 C. warm water
2 TB Saf Yeast
1 TB honey
2 tsp salt
2 TB oil
3 C. fresh whole wheat flour
3 Cups Bread Flour or Unbleached flour

Mix all the ingredients except the bread flour for one minute. Then add 2-3 cups of the bread flour (this is a higher protein refined flour; all-purpose flour may be substituted for the bread flour) until the mixture cleans the sides of the bowl. Knead for 6-10 minutes or until the gluten is fully developed. Allow the dough to rise 15-30 minutes in a covered bowl.

To shape the loaves: Divide the dough into two and roll each portion into a 12X15" rectangle. Roll up tightly along the long side. Pinch the edges to seal. Place on a greased cookie sheet or French Bread pans sprinkled with cornmeal. When dough doubles in size, slash the top with a serrated knife 1/4" deep every 2-3 inches. Beat one egg white with water until foamy. Use a pastry brush to coat top and sides of loaves with egg mix. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake at 375�F about 25-30 Minutes or until brown.

To shape bread bowls: Use 1 to 1-1/2 cups dough per "bowl". Place dough shaped bowls onto greased cookie sheet which has been sprinkled with 2 TB yellow cornmeal or semolina flour. Bake at 375�F for 25-30 minutes or until a deep golden brown color has been achieved. Either French Bread or bread bowls can be baked on a pre-heated pizza stone for a more crispy crust. Use bread bowls as a fun way to serve chili or hearty soups & stews. You can eat the dish afterwards!

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