I use a bread machine to make dough, so that is how my recipes are written. Of course, you can do the process with or without it, depending upon your circumstances...or even purchase premade bread dough from the store.
A delicious bread, fantastic as an accompaniment to the above chicken dish (as we had it) or would be fabulous as a side to ANY main dish. Or maybe, you don't NEED a reason to eat it.
Basic French Bread Recipe for a 2 # loaf:
12-13 oz. warm water
1 3/4 t. salt
2 T. softened butter
1 T. sugar
4 cups bread flour
1 3/4 t. active dry yeast
Put all ingredients in bread maker and put on dough setting, if you have it-french bread dough setting. Sprinkle counter with some flour and some cornmeal.
When bread dough is done, bring it out and loosely stretch, pull, and roll dough into a 12- 15 inch log and flatten out just a bit.
Spread dough generously with :
butter (about 1/4 cup)
1 heaping T. minced garlic
2 T. minced onion
generous sprinkling of Italian Seasoning until covered.
1/4- 1/2 c. mozzerella cheese
Then, fold dough in half and press dough together with fingers to close up loaf.
Put on a greased, cornmeal sprinkled cookie sheet.
Slice top of dough with sharp knife and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size.
Bake in a 375 degree preheated oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown on outside and sounds hollow when tapped.
Don't even bother putting butter on the table with it-THIS bread can stand on its own. PS~it is JUST as good the next day. ;-)