French Bread, in our opinion, is one of the best breads to make!
⦁ 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
⦁ 1 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
⦁ 2 tablespoons sugar
⦁ 2 tablespoons canola oil
⦁ 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
⦁ 3 to 3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
⦁ 1 egg white
⦁ 1 teaspoon cold water
1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add sugar, oil, salt and 2 cups flour. Beat until blended. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a stiff dough.
2. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch dough down; return to bowl. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 375°. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Shape into a 16x2-1/2-in. loaf with tapered ends. Sprinkle cornmeal over a greased baking sheet; place loaf on baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 25 minutes.
4. Beat egg white and cold water; brush over dough. With a sharp knife, make diagonal slashes 2 in. apart across top of loaf. Bake until golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool.
Want fluffy bread? Make sure you're giving the bread dough enough time to proof. Make sure you have a warm space in your home. Warmth and humidity will help the yeast to grow and bubble up. These gas bubbles will help make your bread nice and airy.