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French Bread

Ingredients

1/2 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 cups unbleached, all-purpose or bread flour
2 tablespoons wheat germ
1 cup cold water
1 1/2 teaspoons sea or kosher salt
cornmeal for dusting the pan


Instructions

Place the yeast and warm water in the bowl of the Cuisinart Hand Stand Mixer with a pinch of the flour. Stir to dissolve yeast and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Mixture will foam and bubble – this means the yeast is alive and active.
Place the flour and wheat germ in a separate bowl and stir. Add the cold water, salt and 1/2 cup of the flour mixture to the yeast mixture. Insert the flat beaters. Using speed 1, mix until smooth, about 30 to 40 seconds. Continue adding the flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing completely – about 30 to 40 seconds – until no flour is visible after each addition. The dough at first will be a batter, and slowly as the flour is added the batter will become a complete ball of dough that cleans the sides of the mixing bowl. After all the flour mixture has been incorporated switch to the dough hooks. Mix on speed 3 for 2 to 3 minutes to knead the dough.
Dust dough ball lightly with flour and place in a resealable food storage bag, press out air and seal. Let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down and divide into 2 pieces. Shape each into a long narrow baguette and place on a baking sheet that has been dusted with cornmeal. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise 30 to 40 minutes. While baguettes rise, place a pan of hot water on the bottom rack of the oven and preheat oven to 400° F.
Make 4 diagonal slashes in each loaf about 1/4-inch deep using a serrated knife. Bake bread in preheated oven 25 to 30 minutes until browned and hollow sounding when tapped. Cool on a wire rack. Bread slices best when allowed to cool completely before slicing

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Servings

Makes two baguettes (11 ounces each, about 20 slices)

Nutritional Information
Per Serving

Calories 72 (3% from fat) • carb. 15g • pro 2g • fat 0g • chol. 0mg • sod. 177mg • calc. 4mg • fiber 1g