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Crusty Country Bread

Crusty Country Bread

Crusty Country Bread


1 Envelope dry yeast

1/3 Cup warm water (105 to 130 degrees)

4 Cups hard wheat white flour

2 Teaspoons sugar

2 Teaspoons salt

1 1/4 Cups warm water (120 to 130 degrees)


Lightly grease large bowl; set aside.  Stir yeast into 1/3 cup water.  Let stand until mixture is bubbling.  5 to 7 minutes.  Combine with flour in mixing bowl.  Begin heating adding sugar, salt, remaining water and continue heating until well mixed.  Turn dough out on lightly floured board and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.  Place in greased bowl.  Turn to coat entire surface.  Cover with plastic wrap and hot towel and let stand in warm place until it triples in volume.  When dough has risen transfer to board.  Punch down and knead about 2 minutes to eliminate air bubbles.  Return to bowl, cover and let it rise again until at least doubled.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Grease baking sheet on lightly floured board, punch dough down and roll into oval, then form into desired shape.  Make several slashes diagonally across the top with knife or scissors.  Place on baking sheet and let rise until loaf is doubled.  Bake 30 minutes.  Reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake 5 to 10 minutes more for plain baguettes or 15 minutes for a single loaf, until golden brown and bread gives hollow sound when tapped on bottom.  Cool on rack.  To produce the slender baguettes shapes, use French bread pans or improvise with heavy duty foil, double foil and fold in cylindrical shape about 18 inches long and 5 inches wide.  Freezes well. 


Helen says this bread is good with cheese and wine!

Has a great  chewy crust.



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