Saturday, April 30, 2011

Italian Bread

5 and 3/4 Cups of flour

1 tsp sugar ( white or brown)

4 t. dry yeast

2 cups warm water

3 T. Olive Oil

2 T. Sea Salt
sesame seeds or poppy seeds
1 beaten egg white with water added

Mix the sugar, warm water and yeast in a small bowl and let bloom for 5 to 10 minutes. It should foam up and expand. This tells you your yeast is working.

Add the flour, salt and olive oil to a large Cuisinart or mixer and blend, then add the water mixture. It should form to a dough within a minute or so.. if too wet, add more flour, if too dry add some water to get a nice dough consistency.

You either have to keep it kneading in the machine for 3 to 5 minutes till very smooth or put out on the counter and knead by hand for 10 minutes. Dough should be smooth and elastic.

Put in a large oiled or Pam sprayed bowl and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let double. About an hour or so depending on the day.

Then put the dough on a lightly floured surface and punch down to a circular or rectangle shape. Start to roll the dough into a loaf..( like a jelly roll) and then seal the edges with some water if needed. Place your loaf on a well floured pizza peel or baking pan, cover again with a damp cloth and let rise again till about doubled. I have a video of what it should look like. Get a sharp knife or razor blade and cut several slits diagonally across the loaf. Brush with the egg mixture and sprinkle with the sesame seeds so they stick on. Spray the dough with water and then put into your preheated oven. It must be hot! I use a pizza stone to bake mine on but a cookie sheet will work too.

Bake in preheated 425 degree oven. After 4 minutes, spray the bread again with water and let go another 4 minutes.. spray with water again. This will make 3 times including the first spray prior to baking. You now have another 37 minutes or so to go with your baking time. Loaf should sound hollow if you tap it on the bottom. Sometimes it takes a little less time. Just use your common sense.. but most likely you will need to bake at least 37 plus minutes total. This is so delicious and sometimes I let it cool and slice it thin for pot lucks.. it makes delicious toast! Just an all around great bread. Try it and you will love it.

Cooks note: Don't rush your bread. It has to rise to get the light and fluffy interior consistency. Once you get the hang of it, you will love making bread and pizzas. Note that in the video of putting bread in the oven, I stated that I would lower oven temp, but that is not true. Bakes at 425 degrees for the entire time.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. It says to use 2 tablespoons of salt but 1 tablespoon is enough for my taste.