Bread Italian by alsgirl

posted by alsgirl 10-08-98 1:50 PM


1 1/8 c. Warm water (110 degrees)
1 1/2 ts. Active dry yeast
1 TB Brown sugar
3 c. Unbleached flour
1 1/2 TB Salt
1 1/2 TB Olive oil
1 Egg
1 Egg, thoroughly beaten for egg wash
1 TB Water
Sesame Seeds

1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the warm water, yeast & brown sugar (have seen other recipes in which white sugar was used instead); let proof for 3-5 min.

2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour & salt. Add olive oil, 1 egg & the yeast mixture; blend until a sticky dough is formed (can be done in a heavy-duty mixer with the dough hook).

3. Form dough into 1 large loaf, or divide into 2 parts & form into long loaves.

4. Sprinkle cornmeal on lightly greased baking sheet; place loaves on the sheet, seam sides down.

5. Brush top of loaves with egg wash; let rise until doubled, about 50 minutes.

6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush loaf again with remaining egg wash; sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired. Make 4 cuts, about 1/4" deep; across top of the loaf.

7. Place a pan of hot water in the bottom of the oven. Bake the bread for 25-30 min. or until golden. Remove from oven & cool on wire rack. After cooling, store in air-tight container (or wrap) to preserve. May freeze up to 3 months.

Tip: To serve a crustier bread: 5 minutes before dinner is served, reheat the baked bread in a 375 deg. oven for 5 minutes. You;ll be pleasantly surprised how the extra crunch from reheating lends to the authenticity of the Italian bread.

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