Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Italian Bread

This recipe takes a long time but is easy to do as the day goes along...if you remember soon enough.

Italian Bread

1 tsp white sugar
1 T active dry yeast
3 C warm water
7 C all-purpose flour, divided
1 T salt, divided
t T cornmeal

Add the sugar and yeast to the warm water and allow to proof until yeast resembles a creamy foam.

Sir in 4 cups of flour and beat until smooth. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes. Beat in the salt and then add enough remaining flour to make a stiff dough. Knead until soft. Place dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover and let rise until doubled.

Once doubled, punch down and divide into 3 pieces. Place back in the bowl, cover, and let rise.

Once doubled again, punch down and form into 3 fat oval shaped loaves. Grease baking sheets and sprinkle with cornmeal. Place the bread on the sheets, cover with a towel, and let rise.

Preheat oven to 450. Once risen, mist loaves with water and bake in the preheated oven. Mist loaves again with water and turn occasionally while they bake. Bread is done in about 30 minutes (the recipe said 1 hour, but it was definitely done in half that) or until loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. (If you tap them and they don't sound hollow, don't be afraid to just throw 'em right back in the oven til they're done)

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