This is the first step in my adventure.
I've set a goal of making a loaf of bread every week, and below are the results from my first loaf.
Creating fresh, homemade bread is not the only thing I wish to accomplish though. I want to learn and develop a passion for cooking along the way.
For my first attempt at bread-making, I decided to try a simple French Bread. The finished product looked very nice, mostly due to the brushed, beaten egg white on the top. It ended up being a bit thicker than I wanted it to be, however, it still tasted great!
So, without further ado, here's the recipe I used:
(yields 1 loaf)
2 cups King Arthur Unbleached Bread flour, more for rolling
1/8 oz Red Star Active Dry Yeast
1 tsp salt
3/4 cups warm water
cornmeal, for sprinkling
1 egg white, beaten, for brushing
Combine the flour, salt, and yeast in a large bowl. Once combined, make a well in the center of the bowl and pour in the warm water. Stir the mixture thoroughly by hand, until the dough is soft. Cover the dough with a clean cloth and let the dough rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size.
Place the dough onto a floured surface and pat it into a rectangle. Form the dough into a baguette by rolling the dough away from you. Continue rolling, pressing outward with your hands and tapering the dough toward the ends until you have a long thin loaf. Place the bread on a greased baking sheet, sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover the bread with a clean cloth and let it rise in a warm place until doubled.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In the bottom of the oven, preheat a baking pan. Once preheated, fill the bottom baking pan with 1 cup of hot, steaming water. Bake the bread on the center rack for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for about 30 more minutes or until the crust is golden brown. With 5 minutes remaining, brush the bread with the beaten egg white, combined with 1 tbsp cold water.