This french bread recipe from my cookbook “With Love, From Cynthia” is a winner. It makes two BEAUTIFUL loaves that look like they came from a bakery. They taste amazing & my confidence in bread making has gone up a notch. This is the bread they make every morning at the famous Peach Tree Tea Room in Fredericksburg, Texas. They use the dough from this bread to make everything from french toast to crostini. I can’t recommend enough that you give this bread a try. If I can do it anyone can!!!
1 Tb active dry yeast
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
3 cups unbleached flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 tsp salt
Olive oil, enough to brush on dough
Egg Wash: 1 egg beaten with 1 Tb water
Dissolve yeast & sugar in lukewarm water (I would give this at least 5 mins or so). Combine 2 cups unbleached flour, whole wheat flour, oats & salt. Add to the yeast mixture, stirring well with wooden spoon. (This step can also be done in a food processor, Kitchen Aid Mixer or Bosch using a dough blade….I used my bosch.)
Knead dough on a lightly floured board gradually adding last cup of unbleached flour until it is no longer sticky. (I let the Bosch knead it for me) Place dough in oiled bowl; brush top with oil. Cover with plastic wrap & let rise until doubled, about one hour. After dough has doubled in size, punch down & turn out onto floured board. Divide into 2 equal parts & form into long slender loaf.
Place loaves seam side down on greased cookie sheet that has been sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover & let rise about 30 mins. Using serrated knife, make shallow diagonal cuts on top of each loaf. Brush egg wash on each loaf. Bake in preheated oven @400 degrees for 20-25 mins or until golden. Makes 2 large loaves. Freeze one for later & eat one now.