60 Minute French Bread

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This is a fast, easy, bread to make to go along with any dinner and the bread is so good. I am so glad I tried yet another French bread recipe because I love this one. It's from the blog Jamie Cooks it up. I was so surprised that it was made from start to finish in one hour. And it makes 3 loaves! We only ate one loaf with cheesy chicken and rice soup the other night, so I put the other 2 loaves in the freezer and I plan on making garlic bread with them to go with spaghetti and meatballs.

60 Minute French Bread

1 cup boiling water
1/3 cup warm water
1 tablespoon instant yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon shortening (I used butter flavored)
1 cup cold water
5-6 cups bread flour
1 egg

Preheat oven to 170 degrees.

Fill a glass measuring cup with 1 cup of water; microwave until boiling, about 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, fill another glass measuring cup with 1/3 cup warm water. Stir 1 tablespoon of yeast into the water with a fork. Stir until yeast is completely dissolved. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together: 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 1 tablespoon of shortening; pour the 1 cup of boiling water over these ingredients and mix for about 30 seconds. Add 1 cup COLD water. Pour in the yeast/water mixture. Add 3 cups of bread flour and turn mixer on to slow speed. Add flour one cup at a time until you have a fairly firm dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl (for me I added about 2 1/2 more cups of flour for a total of 5 1/2 cups of flour used). Knead dough on high speed for 8 minutes. Let dough rest in bowl of mixer for 5 minutes.

Turn out dough onto a non-stick sprayed surface. Divide dough into 3 equal pieces. Let dough rest for another 5 minutes.

Take one section of dough and press into a rectangle with your fingers. Roll from smaller side, tucking under ends and sealing seams. Place on a non-stick sprayed cookie sheet. Repeat with other 2 dough pieces. Cut 3-4 angled slits in the formed loaves. Beat egg in a small bowl until frothy. Brush each loaf with beaten egg (this gives it a nice shiny crust).

Place cookie sheet with loaves into the preheated 170 degree oven and let rise for about 15 minutes (leave oven at 170, don't turn it off). Turn up oven to 400 degrees, leave loaves in oven while it comes up to temperature, and bake for 15-20 minutes or until tops of loaves are golden. Turn down oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Remove loaves from cookie sheet and cool on a wire rack.

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