All of your wildest fantasies are about to come true: now you, too, can make your own French bread, hoagies, and hamburger/hotdog buns, all from the same dough recipe! And if you REALLY want to get wild and crazy, you could also make pizza dough or breadsticks. You never knew things could get so out of control at Our Best Bites.

This recipe comes to you with minor tweaking from my dearest Lisa (who also gave me the infamously delicious breadstick/pizza dough recipe). I love this recipe because while it’s similar to the breadstick/pizza dough recipe, it’s a littler richer with much more substantial rising time, both of which give the bread an interesting flavor and texture. Because of the increased rising time, this recipe takes a little more planning (at least for me) than the other, but the French bread is SO delicious and I’m telling you, once you make deli sandwiches or burgers on the buns, you can never go back in good conscience.
I know lots of people get nervous when making yeast breads. If this is the case, be sure and check out the Tips on Yeast Doughs as well as the breadstick dough recipe, which provides additional pictures on what your dough should look like. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to ask! :)

French Bread, Hoagies, and Buns
1 Tbsp. yeast
1 1/2 c. warm water
1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
4-5 1/2 c. flour
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 egg, separated
2 Tbsp. cold water
Combine yeast, water, and sugar in large mixing bowl and allow to stand 10 minutes or until bubbly. Add salt, vegetable oil, and egg yolk (set white aside for later) and combine. Add 3 c. flour and mix well until combined. Add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough that barely sticks to your finger. Knead, either by hand or in mixer (my personal and very lazy choice) for another 2-3 minutes. Cover and allow to rise 1 hour 45 minutes.
Punch down dough. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray. For a loaf of bread, shape into loaf and place on greased cookie sheet. For buns or hoagies, divide equally into 8-10 (or even 12, if you want smaller buns when you’re done, and let’s face it, who doesn’t want smaller buns??) pieces and shape as desired. Use a scale if you have one to get equal-sized buns.

It’s okay if they touch (or will touch after having risen). Cover and allow to rise another 1 1/4-1 1/2 hours or until doubled. Keep an eye on things–if they seem like they’re getting so big that they might collapse, hurry and get them into the oven.

Preheat oven to 375. Mix egg white with water and brush over dough. Bake for 10 minutes and repeat brushing the dough with the egg wash.

Bake an additional 8-10 minutes or until bread is golden brown and your house smells like heaven.

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