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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Italian Bread

Slowly but surely, I'm getting over my fear of yeast.  It really isn't as intimidating as I originally thought it was.  Which is a good thing and a bad thing.

It's good because now I'm happy to take on new challenges in baking with it.

It's a bad thing because then I've got stuff like this hanging around the house.

You will not believe how easy it is to make this Italian bread, until you do it yourself.  Unreal!

Italian Bread
slightly adapted from Southern Living

1 (1/4 ounce) envelope active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees)
2 to 3 cups AP flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

Combine yeast, sugar and water in mixer bowl.  Let sit for 5 minutes.  Add 2 cups flour, oil and salt and beat at low speed, using dough hook attachment, about one minute.

Gradually add additional flour until dough starts pulling away from sides of bowl (the dough will take on a "shaggy" appearance as you add the flour...consistency is right when it's soft and smooth, not wet and sticky or dry and rough).

Increase speed to medium and beat for 5 minutes.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm area free of drafts, 30 minutes or until doubled in size.  Punch dough down and let stand for 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and shape into a 12" loaf.  Place on lightly greased baking sheet.  Cut 3 (1/4 inch deep) slits diagonally across top of loaf with a sharp knife.

Bake for about 16 minutes.  Cool on wire rack.

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At February 7, 2012 at 9:24 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I keep looking at all these lovely bread posts, and thinking back to when I baked bread for the kids, but the house I'm in now doesn't HAVE anyplace "warm and free of drafts". =(

At February 7, 2012 at 10:04 AM , Blogger Aarthi said...

This sounds YUMMY..Bookmarked..


At February 7, 2012 at 12:19 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! I'm impressed!

At February 7, 2012 at 3:25 PM , Blogger Krystal R said...

Awesome job, yeast is not evil. Well, the baking kind, the other...you'll need meds for that. But fantastic job on bread, I'm making a batch of bread this weekend, too! ;-)

At February 7, 2012 at 8:36 PM , Blogger Jill | Dulce Dough said...

Looks wonderful! One of my goals this year is to bake more bread. My problem isn't the yeast, but it is the timing of the risings especially if there are two risings. I'm not used to planning my day around a loaf of bread!

At February 7, 2012 at 11:28 PM , Blogger Tessa said...

I've realized the same thing about yeast in the last year or so. Wish I had more time to bake with it! Your loaf looks amazing too!

At February 8, 2012 at 1:05 PM , Blogger Donna Elick said...

I love love love Italian bread and yours looks amazing!!! I am bookmarking this one.

At February 13, 2012 at 12:02 PM , Blogger Janie said...

I love Italian bread - definitely have to try this recipe out soon!

Stopping by from the SRC Facebook group :)


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