What a day!  The Eagle’s beat the Giants, Christmas is finally put away, the basement is (in the process of) getting organized, and the smell of fresh-baked bread is wafting through the house.  Do I lead a charmed life, or what?!?

Victor made James Beard’s French-Style Bread today.  It is quick and easy – and ever-so tasty!

James Beard’s French-Style Bread

  • 1 pkg dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp  sugar
  • 2 cups wWarm water (100-115 deg.)
  • 1 tbsp  salt
  • 5 cups  flour
  • 3 tbsp  cornmeal
  • 1 egg white mixed with 1 tbsp cold water

Combine the yeast with sugar and warm water in a large bowl and allow to proof. Mix the salt with the flour and add to the yeast mixture, a cup at a time, until you have a stiff dough. Remove to a lightly floured board and knead until no longer sticky, about 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary. Place in a buttered bowl and turn to coat the surface with butter.

Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk..1 1/2-2 hrs.

Punch down the dough. Turn out on a floured board and shape into two long, French bread-style loaves. Place on a baking sheet that has been   sprinkled with the cornmeal, but NOT buttered. Slash the tops of the loaves diagonally in two or three places with a single edge razor blade or sharp knife, brush the loaves with the egg white wash. Place in a COLD oven, set the temperature at 400 degrees, and bake 35 minutes, or until well browned and hollow sounding when the tops are tapped.

It’s one of those recipes that comes out perfect, every time.  Victor added sesame seeds today which really added to the enjoyment!

While I was basking in the glory of the Eagle’s win (and updating a website for a client) Victor was back in the kitchen making dinner.


Penne pasta with langostino, broccoli, and oil-cured black olives in a garlic butter sauce with lots of parmesan cheese!  Simple fare with all the flavors complimenting one another.  It was the perfect choice for a cold winter night.  And the bread went perfectly with it.


Dessert is going to be something with pears and puff pastry.  I can’t wait!


And here it is!  Thin slices of pear, dotted with butter, sprinkled with brown sugar, and wrapped in puff pastry.  A simple egg wash and turbinado sugar sprinkled on top, it was baked at 425° for 15 minutes.


Life is definitely good!