|White flour||7 Cup (112 tbs)|
|Water||2 1⁄2 Cup (40 tbs)|
|Egg white||1 , beaten|
In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 cups flour and the yeast.
Heat 2 1/2 cups water, sugar, salt and shortening just until warm (115Â°-120Â°).
Add to dry mixture.
Beat on low speed with electric mixer for 1/2 minute, scraping bowl.
Beat three minutes on high speed.
By hand, stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.
Knead on floured surface until smooth and elastic, 10-12 minutes.
Shape into ball.
Place in a greased bowl.
Cover; let rise until double in size, about one hour.
Punch down; divide in half.
(At this point, you're supposed to let is set for 10 minutes but who has an extra 10 minutes?) Shape into long French bread loaves.
Place on greased cookie sheet.
Gash tops of loaves diagonally every 2 inches and about 1/4 inch deep.
Cover loaves with a clean dish cloth and let rise until double, about 1 hour.
Gently brush the beaten egg white mixed with 2 tablespoons water.
Sprinkle with sesame or poppy seed.
Bake for 30-40 minutes at 375Â°, until golden brown.
If you are making several loaves and baking on more than one rack in the oven, do not brush with egg white immediately.
Bake 20 minutes.
Pull bread out of oven and brush with egg white mixture.
Switch racks as you return them to the oven.