Italian Bread

Rustic Italian BreadThis might sound nerdy to some, but I have been making loaves of italian bread throughout the week, nearly three per week. My father-n-law asked why I did not just buy the bread, as I joked about how my kids are already eating me out of the house, and my response was that there is something about making bread. Something so nice, whether it is the smell, the process, or simply overall, the taste and texture is so much better.

Making this bread only takes about three hours total, much of which is rising time for the dough. The ingredients are simple and the flavor of olive oil is embedded with the bread.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of bread flour
  • 1 package of active dry yeast
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 2 tbs of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • Fine cornmeal for dusting prior to baking
  • 1 egg white

Let’s get started.

In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, salt, yeast, and sugar and combine. Slowly add the olive oil and your water and mix to form your dough. On a lightly floured surface, take the dough out of the bowl and add to the floured surface, kneading for nearly 6-8 minutes. Once your dough is somewhat elastic, add it to a lightly greased bowl (I use olive oil), cover with plastic wrap and let rise for nearly one hour. Once it has risen, punch it down, cover, and let it rise for nearly 20 minutes. In the meantime, dust your baking apn with a bit of fine cornmeal. Once the dough has risen again from being punched down, remove from the bowl, and shape into a 12 inch loaf. This is going to be rustic so do not worry too much about the shape.

Cover, and let this rise again for nearly one hour. I told you the rising process takes the most time, just enjoy the smell.

Now, get your egg white ready by cracking an egg, and removing the yolk. I do this by working it over a bowl, getting the white in the bowl, then having the yolk still in one of the shells. Whisk the egg white with a fork for a few seconds, then brush onto the bread.

At this time, I add sea salt to the top, just bit, as well as a favorite dried herb, in my case, I use basil or thyme.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, and bake for nearly 28 minutes. Once done, remove from the baking pan and let cool on a wired rack. Enjoy.

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Dax Phillips

Thank you for visiting my website. Truly, I do appreciate it. My free time and stress reliever is cooking for my family, friends, and everyone in between. The recipes you find on this site are those that I have either created, been part of, or those that I simply enjoy and have made my own in some shape, form, or other. My focus has always been on comfort food, because at the end of a long work day, you want something comforting. I currently am the father of three children, and married to a wonderful wife of thirteen years. There is nothing fancy with these recipes, just simple, and I will admit, not so simple ingredients, and a simple kitchen corner I can call my own. I learned early on that cooking and bringing family together was very important. After all, this notion of being together at dinner time was instilled early on by my parents. There are many memories of being in the kitchen with my parents, watching them cook, or preparing meals, or those home cooked smells while waiting for dinner. My parents who worked full-time, always had home cooked meals during the week, with the exception of Friday nights where we would enjoy a Wisconsin fish fry, and often on late afternoons on Sunday, where we would order Ann's pizza. I tend to cook by making things up. As a home cook, I think you have to take chances, and add or subtract ingredients that make up a dish, and make them your own. Remember to taste, and taste often. If a dish has potential, try it again, and make it your own. You should also note that I do not count calories, or break down recipes into grams of anything. To me, that's a bit boring. My philosophy is that if the food is good, eat it, and eat it in moderation. Life is just too short not to enjoy good food. Commonly Asked Questions: Can I use your photography/content on my website/blog? Please do not redistribute my photography or recipes without my permission. All of the recipes and photography on this website are my own unless noted, and is subjected to copyright  If you’d like to use a photograph or a recipe, please contact me for permission. Will you review my product/book/site? I am available for recipe development, food photography and/or styling, travel/press events, product reviews, brand promotion/ambassador, and sponsored posts. If you are interested in working with me, or if you have a question/comment regarding a recipe or about my blog, please send me an email.

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