I LOVE bread.
Bread is one of the few foods that can be used in pretty much any meal at any time. It can be featured with the entree, it can be a side dish on its own, and it can also be an appetizer with dip or butter.
I like to use it as an appetizer, because you can make the dough ahead of time and let it sit in the fridge until baking time. About 30 minutes before my guests arrive, I pull it out and the entire house smells like fresh bread! Who doesn't love that?!
I want to share one of my favorite recipes for a basic french bread today. It's the perfect loaf to show off your garlic dip recipe with, or to take things down a notch and serve with butter. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Divide dough into 2 portions for regular-sized loaves or 4 portions for small loaves. Spread each portion out into a rough rectangle and roll up, jelly-roll style. Take the two ends of each loaf and tuck under slightly. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Spray a sharp knife with cooking spray and cut 3 diagonal lines into the tops of each loaf, about 1-inch deep. Brush loaves with a beaten egg, making sure to get all over the exposed part of the bread. Whatever doesn't get covered with egg wash won't brown. Let rise until doubled or 30 minutes. You can store it in the fridge for a few days at this point. If not, bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes, then at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes, rotating pan halfway through.