Friday, October 26, 2007

Italian-style bread

I haven't made this yet...

This is a fairly easy recipe, which makes an unusually tasty and tender bread. It is possible to vary this recipe by using half whole wheat and half all-purpose white. (I find it particularly good with 1/5 whole wheat, 4/5 white.) All other procedures remain the same.

For two long loaves:
1 1/2 tbls active dry yeast
1 tbls sugar
2 c 100-115 degrees F water
1 tbls salt
5 to 6 cups flour (Make 1 cup whole wheat for good variation or use about 1/2 cup light rye instead of the whole wheat)
4 tbls olive oil

Use cornmeal on pan to keep bread from sticking. Egg/water wash. Combine yeast, sugar, water and allow to proof. After proofing begins (at froth stage), add olive oil. Mix salt thoroughly with flour and add to yeast mixture in five batches, approximately. Stir until dough is stiff. Knead until no longer sticky—about ten minutes. The “no longer sticky” is more important than the time estimate.Let rise until doubled. Punch down. Knead again briefly, and let rise one more time.

Take dough from bowl, punch down, divide into two parts. Form into loaves, place on baking sheet covered with cornmeal. Let rise until loaves about double. Slash loaves in three places with razor or sharp knife, brush with lightly beaten egg white/water mixture.

Place in cold oven set for 375 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for about thirty-five to forty minutes until done. Let cool on racks.

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