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Crusty French Bread



In mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup water.
Add sugar, salt, shortening and remaining water; stir until dissolved.
Add flour and stir until smooth (do not knead).
Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled.
Turn on to a floured surface.
Divide in half; let rest for 10 minutes.
Roll each half into 10-inch by 8-inch rectangle.
Roll up from a long side; pinch to seal.
Place seam side down on greased baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal.
Sprinkle the tops with cornmeal.
Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
With a very sharp knife, make five diagonal cuts across the top of each loaf.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until lightly browned.
Cool on wire racks.