Lovely Ms. E's French Bread

As you may have noticed, I'm on a mission to bake bread. Any bread. All bread. Remember, I love bread.

It started with this tasty wheat sandwich bread, which I thought seemed like a fairly easy recipe.

A delicious recipe, yes. But, I found out after the fact, not as easy as it could be.

Lucky for me, Auntie R's mother (we'll call her Lovely Ms. E) saved the day. She sent me an email with her incredibly easy French bread recipe because she thought I was making this whole bread-baking affair too difficult.

Boy, was she right. This French bread recipe is a breeze. And good, too. Although, as you can see here, I need to work on my French bread-forming skills a bit, as my loaf wasn't as fat as the ones you buy in bakeries. (Or maybe I just need to let it rise more. Who knows? That's what experimenting is for, right?)

Without further ado, I present Lovely Ms. E's French Bread:

1 cup warm water
1 pkg yest
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp melted shortening (Lovely Ms. E uses canola oil but says any oil will do)
3 3/4 cup flour

1. Dissolve yeast in warm water.

2. Add salt, sugar, and shortening.

3. Gradually add flour and knead well. (Lovely Ms. E would like to remind us all that this is the most important step.)

4. Brush the top with oil and let rise, one, two, or three times (once is enough for Lovely Ms. E).

5. Place on a greased sheet covered with cornmeal, form into a long loaf with tapered ends, and slash across the top in several places.

6. Brush the top of the loaf with cold water and let it rise.

7. Brush with cold water again. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if you wish. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.

8. Enjoy!

(Lovely Ms. E also offered to send me her recipe for dinner rolls, which I took her up on after Conservative Boy started salivating at the thought of them. You see, we've enjoyed those rolls every time we've visited Auntie R, Uncle H, and the Lovely Ms. E in Georgia, and the second I mentioned that she had sent me a recipe C.B. wanted to know if it was for her wonderful rolls. So stay tuned for more bread-making with the Lovely Ms. E!)

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