We have tweaked a basic French Bread recipe to make it our own here on the Farm. We use a bread machine to mix, knead and complete the first rise but you can use a Kitchen Aid Mixer or just do it by hand. The Sorghum Syrup makes a nicer texture and Corn Starch gives a little lightness to the loaf.
Measure all ingredients:
4 cups All-Purpose Unbleached Flour (you can use Bread Flour but not necessary)
1.5 cups warm water
3 Tablespoons Sorghum Syrup
1 Tablespoon Salt (we use Himalayan Pink)
1teaspoon Active Dry Yeast (keep in the fridge)
1/4 cup Corn Starch
Place the Water, Yeast, Sugar and Salt in your bread machine or mixing bowl. Give it a stir to combine. Add Flour and Corn Starch, start dough setting or mix until dough ball forms. You may need to add a bit more Water or Flour if the dough is too dry or too sticky (humidity makes a big difference). If kneading by hand place dough ball on a floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes. Place in a bowl, cover with kitchen cloth and allow to rise in a warm place until dough doubles in size, about an hour (top of fridge or stove works well). If using a bread machine allow the first rise then turn dough out onto floured work surface. Form the dough into loaf shapes, we usually cut the dough into three pieces and gently work them into three long French-style loaves. Place formed dough on baking sheet or in loaf pans, cover with cloth and allow to rise in a warm place again, about an hour. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, remove the rise cloth and bake for 15-20 minutes until browned. Loaf will sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.