French Bread

An ancient family recipe

7 cups of white flour or 6 to 6 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 to 1 cup cooked oatmeal porridge (optional)
2 Tablespoons, yeast
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 1/2 cups water
1 Tablespoon salt
1 egg white mixed with 1 Tablespoon water
cornmeal for dusting
YIELD: 3 to 4 loaves
COURSE: Bread and Baking
  1. Proof 2 Tablespoons yeast with 1 Tablespoon sugar in 1/2 cup of warm water. Add the rest of the water. Beat in 1/2 of the flour with the salt and olive oil.
  2. Knead in the rest of the flour and the oatmeal, if using. Let rise until doubled in bulk. Crunch down and shape into 3 or 4 loaves. Slash the tops and coat them with the egg white mixture. Let rise until almost double in bulk.
  3. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake on a greased pan that has been dusted with cornmeal for approximately 45 minutes.