2 1/2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 cups flour
2 tablespoons dry yeast
cornmeal (for dusting baking sheet) 1 egg, beaten lightly
1. Pour warm water into a large, warm mixing bowl.
2. Stir in sugar, salt, oil, 3 cups of flour, and yeast.
3. Beat vigorously for 2-3 minutes.
4. Stir in remaining flour until all dry ingredients are incorporated, leaving spoon right in batter.
5. Allow dough to rest 10 minutes; then stir down.
6. Allow dough to rest another 10 minutes and stir down again.
7. Repeat this process until dough has been stirred down 5 times.
8. Turn dough onto floured surface.
9. Knead only enough to coat the dough with flour so it can be handled.
10. Divide dough into 2 parts.
11. Roll each half into a rectangle approximately 9×12 inches, and roll up like a jelly roll starting from the long side.
12. Pinch ends to seal.
13. Arrange on a large baking sheet that has been dusted with cornmeal, leaving enough room for both loaves.
14. Cover lightly and let rise at room temperature for 30 minutes.
15. With a very sharp knife, cut 3 diagonal slashes on top of each loaf.
16. Brush each loaf with beaten egg.
17. Bake immediately at 400°F for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.
18. Remove from baking sheet and cool on wire racks.
19. *NOTE: I have used my Kitchenaid mixer to do all the mixing and it works great either way.