Bread, French

Servings 12 1/4″ slices1/2 oz active dry yeast or 1 package – $1.00*
8 oz warm water
16 oz flour – $0.64
1 tablespoon kosher salt – $0.01
cornmeal – $0.05
egg white, beaten – $0.12 – 0.39 (I use the yolk to make mayonnaise for the week, more on that later)

Total for recipe – $1.82 per loaf or $0.15 per serving
Calories: 113 Fat: .3 Protein: 3.25  

Sprinkle dry yeast over 2 fulid ounces of the warm water and set aside until dissolved and foamy.
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the starter and the remaining warm water. Add 6 ounces of the flour.
Stir until a dough forms, then add the yeast mixture, and the remaining flour. Cover and let hydrate for @ 30 minutes.
Knead for 7-10 minutes on low.
Place dough in a lightly greased bow and cover with a damp cloth. Let it rise until doubled in a warm place.
Fold down dough and shape into 1 or 2 long loaves. Place the loaf on a greased and cornmeal-dusted sheet pan.
Let rise until 2 1/2 times its original size, covering loaves with a damp cloth.**
Brush with the beaten egg and score with a sharp knife.
Bake at 450, with a pan of boiling water under the rack for 10 minutes.
Reduce temp to 375, remove water, and continue baking until loaf is well browned, about 20-30 minutes.

*When I buy the big jar o’ yeast, this price comes down significantly. It’s about $0.55 then, and lasts in your fridge indefinitely. I make a lot of bread and yeast-risen products, so when I see yeast on sale, I snap it up.  I understand that I’m not saving that much by making my own bread. But I will say that there are few things more satisfying than eating a slice of bread you made yourself while your kitchen smells like a bakery.
**Do not use a dry cloth, plastic wrap, foil, etc. They will stick. Even if you spray the loaves with cooking spray, the newly risen surface will stick, will tear, and will ruin all the happy bubbles you’ve been growing for the last couple of hours

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