Wee Cook Wednesday: Quick-N-EZ French Bread

frenchbreadThese past two weeks (*whine*) have been a little rough on the gums. No one told me that when you have four wisdom teeth removed, the rest of your mouth aches in sympathy. Milkshakes, apple sauce, yoghurt, and eggs. I’ve dropped five pounds in two weeks. (Silver lining in every cloud.)

On Sunday I was feeling a bit better, so I decided to be brave. It was sleeting outside, and so it seemed the perfect day for a chunky chicken soup and some homemade bread. It also happened to be my mother’s birthday, and so I found a bread recipe that she used to make for us a LOT when we were growing up: Quick-N-EZ French Bread!

In 2-quart glass bowl, combine 2 pkg Rapid-Rise Yeast, 1 tsp sugar, and 1/2 C warm water. Stir to dissolve, cover with plastic wrap and rest 10 minutes. (Use a timer.)

When yeast is done, in large bowl combine 2 Tbls shortening, 2 tsp salt, and 1 C BOILING water. Stir to melt shortening. Then add 1 C cold water; stir in yeast. Stir in 6-1/2 or 7 C flour (bread or all-purpose). Knead a few turns, until a smooth bowl forms. Cover with plastic and rise 10 minutes; punch down. Repeat 4 more times (rising 10 minutes, then punching down; kids love to help with this part).

Divide dough into two balls, then roll each ball into a rectangle about 18 inches long. Roll, jelly-roll style, and place on greased cookie sheet. Repeat with other ball of dough.  Slit 4-5 times with knife; rise until double. Brush with wash of 1 egg and 2 tsp milk. Sprinkle with sesame seeds or poppy seeds, if desired (kids like to do this, too). Bake 400 degrees 35-40 minutes. Serve warm.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

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