My friend Jan brought a loaf of this awesome french bread over many years ago when I had my third baby. It was so good that I called her the next day and got the recipe. We actually live far enough away from the grocery store that sometimes it is faster and easier for me to make this homemade french bread then to drive into town to buy a loaf.
It tastes fabulous warm from the oven, and it also makes great garlic bread. Sometimes I hide a loaf high up in the pantry for a day or two so I can use it to make French toast. Yum!
2 1/2 cups warm water
2 Tbsp SAF instant yeast
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp oil
6 cups flour (approximately)
In a large bowl, let water, yeast, and sugar set till bubbly. Add salt, oil and 3 cups of flour. Beat till smooth. Add remaining flour. Let dough rest for 10 minutes, then punch down or knead a couple of times. Divide dough in half. To form loaves, roll the dough into a rectangle. Then roll it up tightly lengthwise (like you would with cinnamon rolls, just without the cinnamon). Seal the edges by pinching together. Grease a cookie sheet and sprinkle it with cornmeal. Place the loaves on the cookie sheet and let raise for about 30 minutes. Brush the tops with water and make diagonal slashes on top using a serrated knife. Bake at 375° for about 25 minutes or till lightly browned. Brush tops with butter.