Back in the 90′s (yes, that’s the 1900′s) my MIL bought me quite a few Taste of Home recipe books. Each year for Christmas she would give me the annual recipes book. I’ve gotten rid of a lot of cookbooks over the years but for sentimental reasons I kept these. I’m so glad I did. Recently I have gotten so many great recipes from them!
This no-knead crusty french bread recipe is worth keeping any number of cookbooks around. It’s amazingly easy and tastes just like the u-bake bread you grab from the store. Of course, I’ve changed a few things as the family has helped taste test loaves.
This recipe is perfect for serving with soup, stew and using for sandwiches. It’s definitely a great multi-purpose bread and especially since it’s quick and easy.
Here is what it looks like before baking:
- 1 (1/4oz) package active dry yeast
- 1½ cups warm water
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 2½ tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp melted shortening
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- cornmeal (few Tbsp will do)
- Dissolve yeast in ½ cup water, add sugar. Let sit for 5-10 minutes.
- Add salt, shortning and remaining warm water. Stir to dissolve.
- Add all the flour and stir until smooth. I use my kitchen aid with the bread hook and just let it go until it scrapes everything from the sides and bottom for a few turns.
- Cover and let rise for 1 hour in a warm place. It should double in size.
- Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Roll each into approximately a 10×8 rectangle.
- Roll semi-tightly from the long side.
- Sprinkle cornmeal on greased baking sheet or non-stick baking sheet.
- Pinch to seal. Turn seam side down and curl ends under slightly.
- Place on baking sheet. cover and let rise for about 45 minutes. It again should double in size.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut 5-6 small diagonal slits in top of loaves.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
- Place on cooling rack.