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FRENCH BREAD (hard crust) 
1/4 oz. env. active dry yeast
1 c. warm water (very warm but not boiling)
3 c. sifted flour
1/2 tsp. salt
Non-stick cooking spray
2 tbsp. cornmeal

Flour must be sifted.

In small bowl combine yeast with 1/2 cup water. Let stand about 5 minutes, then stir until dissolved.

In large mixing bowl mix flour and salt. Beat in yeast and remaining water until mixture forms a ball. Turn dough out on floured surface and knead until smooth, approximately 10 minutes. Coat large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, cover with towel. Place in warm area for 1 hour.

Punch down dough - cover again, let rise again 45 minutes. Punch down again. Put dough on floured surface. Let rest 5 minutes. Shape in cylinder approximately 1 foot long.

Spray cookie sheet. Sprinkle with cornmeal. Then place dough on top of cornmeal. Cover with towel and let rise 30 minutes. Toward the end of rising period preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Important for hard crust: Fill 13x9x2 pan with 1 inch of water, put on bottom of oven. Slash dough 1/4 inch deep down center then brush with water. Place bread in center of oven. Sprinkle sides of oven with water. Continue to spray oven sides for the first 15 minutes. Bake for a total of 30 minutes until loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

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