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.
- 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
- In a large bread bowl, whisk together the water, yeast and sugar until dissolved. Allow to stand and proof for 10 minutes.
- Add 4 cups of the flour and all of the salt. Stir with wooden spoon until a thick, sticky dough results.
- 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.
- Place bread in a dark warm place and allow to rise for an hour. Punch down and rise another 40 minutes, or until doubled.
- Flatten dough on a clean surface, forming a large rectangle. Roll up tightly into a loaf and pinch the seams to seal them well.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and oil a large baking sheet. Sprinkle a little semolina flour on the baking sheet.
- 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.
- 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.