Crusty French Bread
Place in a large mixing bowl:
1 Tbsp. salt
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup boiling water, and 1 cup cold water.
Blend in 1 pkg. yeast
Add 6 cups flour for stiff dough and knead 5 minutes.
Let rise in bowl.
Shape into 2 long loaves, roll flat, then roll up.
Grease cookie sheet, sprinkle with cornmeal and place bread on it.
Brush bread with cold water.
Let rise until doubled in size.
Brush again with cold water.
Slash top of each loaf with a sharp knife and sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds.
Bake at 400º for 10 minutes.
Brush loaves again with cold water.
Lower heat to 375º and bake for 10 minutes.
Brush again with cold water and bake 20 minutes longer.
Yields 2 loaves or 12 hard rolls.
Straight dough method
1 cup milk
6 Tbsp. shortening
3 Tbsp. sugar
2 ½ tsp. salt
1 cup warm water
1 cake yeast
6 cups flour
Scald 1 cup milk, and stir in sugar, shortening and salt.
Cool to lukewarm.
Measure into a bowl, 1 cup warm water, and crumble in 1 cake of yeast.
Stir until dissolved.
Stir in lukewarm milk mixture.
Add 3 cups sifted flour.
Beat until smooth.
Stir in additional 3 cups flour.
Turn out onto lightly floured board and knead until smooth and elastic.
Place in a greased bowl, brush with shortening, cover and let rise in warm place free from draft until double in bulk – about one hour.
Punch down, turn out onto board, divide in half, let rest 15 to 20 minutes.
Shape into two loaves and place in 9 x 3 x 5 inch loaf pans.
Cover and set in warm place until center is slightly higher than the edge of the pan – about one hour.
Bake at 350º for 45 minutes.