Easy French Bread Recipe

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Easy French Bread
Makes 2 large loaves
Preparation time:  3 hours, start to finish, including rising times

1/2 c. lukewarm water
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. (or 1 pkg.) dry active yeast
2 c. lukewarm water
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. oil
Approx. 5+ cups all-purpose flour
1 egg mixed with 1 tsp. cold water, to glaze

In a large drinking glass or measuring pitcher, combine the 1/2 c. lukewarm water with 1/2 tsp. sugar and dry active yeast.  Stir to combine and let this rest about 10 minutes, till risen and bubbly.

Note:  Careful not to use hot water!  If the water is too hot, it will kill the yeast and you'll have to start again.  Allowing the yeast to rise in the cup, separate from the rest of the ingredients, is to test the yeast and make sure it's rising well.  This prevents wasting your other ingredients, should you have to start again.

See the recipe with step by step pictures