Easy Homemade French Bread

This recipe is adapted from one that I found at The Sister’s Cafe. It’s easy, it’s fast, it has very few ingredients and everyone loves it. I even use it to make homemade pepperoni roll which I promise to show you very soon.
Here’s all you’ll need:
1 1/2 Tbs. active dry yeast (I buy yeast in bulk and store it in the freezer)
2 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 c. hot water (I never measure temp, hot to touch is fine)
3 1/2 c. + all purpose or bread flour
2 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. butter
Mix yeast and sugar together and sprinkle into a bowl of the  water. Give it a swirl so all the yeast gets wet. Let sit for 5 – 10 min. or until mixture is foamy.
While your yeast is activating, combine flour and salt in a stand mixer with a dough hook. I have also mixed the dough without a mixer and it works just fine.
Slowly pour yeast mix into flour mixture on a slow speed. The dough will be wet and sticky. Add 1/2 c of flour at a time to the dough until it lifts from the sides and forms a ball. Knead with the mixer on low-med speed for another 4 min or so.
Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead a couple more minutes if desired. The texture should be smooth and somewhat elastic. At this point, you can divide the dough in half to make 2 smaller loaves (as above) or you can make one big loaf.
Roll dough into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. On a long side, roll up your dough to form a long roll. Do this to both if you made 2. Make a surface slice down the middle or 3-4 diagonal slices on top. Place on a lightly oiled (I use olive oil) baking sheet and cover with a clean cloth for 15-30 minutes. Preheat oven to 450 at this point. When the oven is ready, bake for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and lightly spread butter on top of crust. Return to oven for 5 more minutes.
*Disclosure: If you decide to make a purchase through my link, Amazon will pay me a commission for it. This doesn’t cost you anything additional. I’m intending to write a post (or series) about my experiment in monetizing my blog content. 

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