Italian Bread

Italian BreadYou have to give it to bakers. They simply do great things, and you have to give them credit because making breads takes patience and time. I should stress time. Time is something that I do not have much of, however when I do on a weekend day, I think of making bread, or pizza dough. This past week, I wanted to make some sandwiches, and did not want anything but homemade bread. Time paid off. If you have the time, try this recipe. It makes two loaves, and is really great.

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages of active dry yeast
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 5 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • cornmeal
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 3/4 cup of water
  • egg white
  • course salt (optional)

Combine the yeast, salt, sugar, and 2 cups of flour in a mixing bowl. Let this sit while you get a saucepan going to melt the butter, and add the water. Bring to a warm temperature, not a boil. Now you are ready to combine the wet with the dry. Get your mixer going on low to medium speed, and begin to mix in the liquid, beating for nearly two minutes. Keep in mind that you want to scrape the sides from time to time to incorporate everything.

Beat in about 1/2 cup of more flour, continuing to mix for another two minutes, scraping the sides once again. Next, stir in enough flour (1 3/4 cup to 2 cups) with a wooden spoon to make a nice, soft dough.

Now it is time to have fun. Get your work surface ready, and sprinkle with enough flour. Get the dough onto the surface and knead for nearly 10 minutes until you have a nice dough. Add more flour if need be.

Italian Bread DoughCut the dough in half, and cover each piece with a large bowl. This will allow the dough to rise as you will let it sit under there for about 25 minutes. In the meantime, grease a large cookie sheet and lightly shower it with cornmeal. When the dough has set for 25 minutes, lightly flour your work surface again, along with your rolling pin, and roll each dough about 14 x 10 or so. From the 14 inch side, begin to roll, and pinch the ends to seal. Do this for each half.

Next, transfer them to the cookie sheet, seam side down, brushing the top and sides with the oil. Cover them loosely with plastic wrap and let them sit in the refrigerator for roughly 4 hours, but they can remain in there for up to 24 hours.

When you are ready, and trust me, this is the hard part, preheat your oven to 425 degrees, remove the loaves from the refrigerator, and take off the plastic wrap. Let the dough sit out and rest for about 15 minutes. Then, cut a few diagonal slashes on the top of each loaf. Place in the oven for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, remove from the oven, and beat your egg white. Brush the egg white on the top of each loaf, sprinkle with some course salt, return to the oven, and cook another 5 minutes.

You will be amazed as to what the egg white does to the loaf is it creates a killer shine to it. Let the loaves cool, before using for sandwiches, or simply eat with some butter and garlic.

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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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