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The Dough Room!
New Orleans French Bread

1 package dry yeast
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups warm water
5-5 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons cornmeal

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast, salt and sugar in warm water.
Gradually stir in flour, adding only until the mixture refuses to absorb more. 
On a floured board, knead the dough for 3-4 minutes.  Transfer the dough to a greased bowl and brush the top lightly with butter.  Cover with a damp cloth.  Set the dough aside in a warm place to rise for 1 and hours or until it is double in bulk.
Butter a baking sheet and sprinkle it with cornmeal, shaking off the excess. 
Punch down the dough.  
Transfer the dough to a floured board and divide it into thirds.  Roll each portion into an 8 x 13 inch rectangle.  Roll each rectangle up from the long side, seal and shape ends.
Place the loaves on the prepared baking sheet and with a sharp knife make several diagonal cuts across the tops.  Brush lightly with melted butter.  Let rise in a warm place about 45 minutes.
Place the bread on the middle rack in oven.  Place a pan of hot water on bottom of oven.  Bake at 450 F degrees for 5 minutes.  Reduce oven temperature to 350 F degrees and continue baking for 30 minutes. Makes 3 loaves. 

Get It While It's Hot!
For over two hundred years, the Creole people of New Orleans and its surrounding countryside have remained a mystery to their fellow southerners and to Americans generally.  People admire their architecture, their superb gardens, their lovely city, and most especially, their inimitable cuisine.  However, few know who or what the Creoles are.  Moreover, without this knowledge, an appreciation of the highly flavored, delicious foods that make up Creole cooking is impossible.
In all polls ever taken of what recipes people collect of the Creole Cajun cuisine, one category that tops the list: French Breads.


 
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