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Publication: The Daily Recipe
The good dough

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I do love my bread and one of my faforites is the French
bread...thus one of my favorite lunch pitstops is Panera. 
FRENCH BAGUETTES are THE best fresh out of the oven...
the mere aroma is almost unbearable you've just got to
dig in. If I purchase from a bakery I can barely make it
home without cracking off an end. This recipe contains no
fat of any kind and only a little sugar, so the result is
a very lean bread. Although best when freshly baked (served 
within an hour of baking),  I've also taken the liberty of
including a few quickie tips you can use to enjoy it longer.
You may want to save this one for a rainy day because there
are quite a few steps involved but well worth the effort!

1. To freshen it up, sprinkle with a little water and reheat
in the oven. 

2. Freeze the bread as soon as it has completely cooled and
reheat by letting it stand at room temperature for about 15
minutes, then warm in a 350 degree oven. 

I added some special topper tips for baking bread too and
pssssttt.... you can even use those whenever you do the
your favorite quickie refrigerated rolls and bread to live
them up.



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1 package active dry yeast
2 cups warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
5 1/2 to 6 cups unbleached flour
Oil, for greasing

In a large bowl or electric mixer, sprinkle yeast over 1/4
cup of warm water. Add sugar and let stand until yeast is
soft (about 5 minutes). Stir in remaining 1 3/4 cups water
and salt. Add 4 cups of the flour. Mix to blend, then beat
at medium speed until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes).
Gradually beat in about 1 more cup of flour to make a soft
dough. Turn dough out onto a boar or pastry cloth floured
with some of the remaining 1/2 to 1 cup flour. Knead until
dough is springy and small bubbles form just under the
surface (10-15 minutes), adding just enough flour to prevent
dough from being sticky. Turn dough into a greased bowl.
Cover with plastic wrap and a towel let rise in a warm
place until doubled in bulk (about 1 hour).

Punch down dough; knead dough lightly into a ball on a
floured surface. Cover with inverted bowl and let rest
for 10 minutes. Divide dough into 3 equal portions. Shape
each into a slender oval loaf 16 to 18 inches long by
rolling the ball of dough under palms of hands to elongate
it. Place well apart on a large, greased baking sheet. Let
ride until puffy but not quite doubled (20 to 25 minutes).
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. With a razor blade or very
sharp knife make 3 diagonal slashes, about 1/2 inch deep,
down center of each loaf. Before baking use an atomizer
or spray bottle filled with cold water to spray with a
very light mist of moisture. Place in oven, then spray
twice more at 3 minute intervals. Bake until bread is well
browned (25 to 30 minutes total). Slide onto wire racks
to cool.

Yield: Makes 3 loaves 
Categories: Breads



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                 MARZEE'S CORNER



Even though the natural brown surface is highly desired
for these loaves, you can enhance it even further by 
brushing the crust with a glaze or sprinkling it with
seeds, spices, or even herbs. For shine, brush with an
egg wash. for a soft crust, brush with milk, buttermilk,
cream, melted butter or margarine. For a sweet glaze,
brush with honey or a sugar syrup. Some suggested
toppings include; sesame seeds, poppy seeds, caraway
seeds, fennel seeds, or finely chopped onion or garlic. 


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END OF THE DAILY RECIPE "Until we eat again!" 
Copyright 2008 by NextEra Media. All rights reserved. 

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