Easy French Bread
makes 1 loaf
2 1/2-2 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 pkg(2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1 cup warm water(120 degrees F)
In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine 1.5 cups flour with the salt, sugar, and yeast. Add water and beat for 3 minutes. Beat in enough additional flour to make a soft but kneadable dough.
Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead for 3-5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a bowl, cover with tea towel, and let rise 45 minutes(an hour if your house is cold).
Punch dough down and roll into a long rectangular shape. Starting from the long end, roll up jelly-roll style.
Place seam-side down on a greased baking sheet, cover with a wet tea towel, and let rise 30-45 minutes, or until doubled(it’ll depend on the warmth of your house).
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk one egg white with one tablespoon of water until slightly foamy. Using a pastry brush, gently brush beaten egg white onto loaves. Using a sharp knife, make 3-4 diagonal slashes on top of the loaf.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until nicely browned. Cool on a wire rack.