Italian Bread

Sally K / 2017-07-27 @ 12:40 PM /

Italian Bread

This recipe produces a crisp Italian bread that I like to use for roasted Eggplant or Pepper Sandwiches. It slices nicely, has a good texture, and can hold up to marinara sauce.

Makes one large loaf.

Ingredients:

  • 2 c warm water (110 degrees F)
  • 1 packet dry active yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 5 c all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

Directions:

  1. In a large bread bowl, whisk together the water, yeast and sugar until dissolved. Allow to stand and proof for 10 minutes.
  2. Add 4 cups of the flour and all of the salt. Stir with wooden spoon until a thick, sticky dough results.
  3. Add enough of the 5th cup of flour, little by little as you knead the bread in the bread bowl, to make a dough that is not too sticky. When the dough becomes smooth and satiny, place it in an oiled bowl and cover tightly.
  4. Place bread in a dark warm place and allow to rise for an hour. Punch down and rise another 40 minutes, or until doubled.
  5. Flatten dough on a clean surface, forming a large rectangle. Roll up tightly into a loaf and pinch the seams to seal them well.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and oil a large baking sheet. Sprinkle a little semolina flour on the baking sheet.
  7. Place the loaf on the prepared baking sheet. Use a sharp knife to slash three scores in the top of the loaf. Leave the loaf on top of the oven for about 30 minutes, to rise uncovered. Bake 35 minutes.
  8. Remove loaf briefly and oil the top. Return to oven and bake 5 minutes more. Place loaf on a cooling rack for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving.
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