Favorite Italian Bread
This is a very quick and easy way to have delicious Italian bread. I like these smaller loaves, because they fit under a domed cake stand, and cut easily into one ounce slices.
Makes two medium-small loaves.
- 1 1/2 c warm water
- 1 Tbsp active dry yeast
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 4 c all purpose or bread flour
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- In large bowl, whisk together water, yeast and sugar. Allow to stand and bloom 15 minutes.
- Add flour and salt. Blend and stir into a dough ball. (If needed, add a tablespoon or so more water until you have a stiff, uniform dough.)
- Turn out on clean, dry surface. Stretch and knead the dough vigorously 5 minutes.
- Place in clean dry bowl; cover. Allow to rise in warm, draft-free place for one hour.
- Cut in two equal parts. Roll or press each into large rectangle. Tightly roll and seal repeatedly until you have a good loaf shape. The loaf will appear small, but will expand greatly.)
- Place on greased or parchment-lined baking sheet; space loaves apart.
- Cover loosely with wax paper. Allow to rise 30 minutes, while preheating oven to 425 degrees F.
- Bake 20 minutes. Cool on rack.