Easy French Bread
|Fresh compressed yeast||1⁄2 Ounce|
|Warm water||25 Tablespoon (1 1/2 Cups+ 1 Tablespoon)|
|All purpose flour||1 Pound (4 Cups, Strong Plain)|
|Salt||1 1⁄4 Teaspoon|
Cream the yeast with 2 tablespoons (3 T) of the water.
Sift the flour and salt into a warmed bowl and make a well in the centre.
Pour in the yeast liquid and remaining water.
With one hand or a spatula, draw the flour into the liquid and beat for 5 minutes.
Cover and leave to rest for 5 minutes, then beat again for 3 minutes.
Place the bowl in an oiled polythene (plastic) bag and leave in a warm place for 3 hours until well risen and spongy to the touch.
Punch down the dough and turn onto a lightly floured surface.
Knead for 5 minutes.
Place in a clean bowl, put into an oiled polythene (plastic) bag and leave in a warm place for 3 hours or until trebled in size.
Turn onto a floured surface and cut into 3 equal pieces with a sharp knife.
To form the loaves, roll each piece to an oval, about 10 inches long, fold in half lengthwise and seal the edges lightly with water.
Roll over so the seam is on top.
Press into an oval shape and fold in half again, but this time roll over so the seam is underneath.
Roll into a 16 inch long sausage shape.
Place on a greased baking sheet and put inside an oiled polythene (plastic) bag.
Leave in a warm place for 1 1/2-2 hours until risen to 3 times the size.
Remove from the bag.
Make 3 slashes on the top of each loaf and bake in a hot oven, 425°F, Gas Mark 7 for 30 minutes until golden brown.
Cool on a wire rack.