Crusty French bread in the shape of a ball and a great recipe to try if you want tackle bread-making.
1/4 c. warm water
1 package dry yeast
2 T. bread flour
1 T. sugar
4 c. bread flour
1/3 c. wheat germ or oats pulsed to a flour
2 tsp. salt
1-1/2 c. warm water
Heat water in microwave 1 minute. Mix yeast and flour in a small bowl. Dissolve sugar in warm water. Add to yeast and flour and mix until smooth. Let sit at room temperature for 5 minutes or until puffed and foamy.
Into food processor place next batch of flour, oats and salt. Pulse a few times to mix. Heat remaining water in microwave 1-1/2 minutes.
Add activated yeast batter to food processor and pulse a few times. Now with motor running, add warm water and mix until dough ball forms and spins around inside.
Tranfer dough to floured countertop. Heavily dust with more flour. Set timer and knead dough for 10 solid minutes.
Grease a large bowl. Place dough inside. Roll it around and flip it over. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm spot for just over an hour, or until double in bulk.
Punch dough down and invert bowl onto countertop. Let rest five minutes. Pat dough into rectangle. Fold in half and then fold in half again. Place back in bowl, cover and let rise again for 45 minutes, or until double in bulk.
Transfer to countertop. Cut into four equal pieces and form eacn one into a nice ball by first folding in edges, turning over and working into a nice, smooth ball.
Tranfer dough balls to baking try and dust with flour. Cover and let rise again for 30 minutes. Meanwhile preheat oven to 400.
Place a glass or pyrex dish on bottom of oven filled halfway with hot water. Make a glaze out of one egg white and 1 tablespoon of cold water. Gently brush dough with glaze, slash the tops with a sharp knife and bake in 400 oven for 30 minutes. In the last five minutes, spray the loafs with cold water. Transfer to wire rack and cool completely.
1/4 c. olive oil
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1 T. fresh cracked pepper
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Italian seasoning (herbs)