Saturday, September 19, 2009

Italian Bread


103. The smell of baking bread...*smile*...it makes your senses come alive! Have you ever driven by a bakery in the early morning, when they are baking bread? It smells sooo goood!

I have a wonderful recipe for Italian Bread which I've used for many years. It is from an old Fleischmanns Yeast recipe booklet. I have made loaves and rolls and the recipe adapts very well. I was so in the mood for it today so I pulled out my bread machine to mix up the dough but I added dry Italian seasoning, about 2 teaspoons, to flavor the bread and it was wonderful!
My stone bar Pampered Chef baking pan is excellent for baking bread.
Italian Bread

4½ - 5½ cups unsifted flour (depending on the consistency of the dough)
1 T Sugar
1 T salt
2 packages Fleischmann's Active Dry Yeast or 2 tsp yeast
1 T butter
1 ¾ cups very warm water (120ºF.-130ºF.)
Corn Meal
Peanut Oil
1 egg white
1 T cold water
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
In a large bowl, thoroughly mix 1 ½ cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Add butter.
Gradually add warm water to dry ingredients and beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add ¾ cup flour. Beat at high speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in enough additional flour to make a stiff dough. Turn out onto lightly floured board and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap, then a towel. Let rest 20 minutes.

If you are making dough in a bread machine, place the warm water in first, then butter, salt. Next, the flour, sugar and last, the yeast. Turn machine on and select the "dough" setting.

When dough is ready, sprinkle corn meal over the bottom of a heavy baking sheet. Shape dough into two loaves 15 x 10 inches long or round, 6 rolls or one large loaf. Make 3 or 4 diagonal cuts on top of each with razor blade or sharp knife. Brush the dough with oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 20 minutes.

Bake in 425º oven for 15 minutes for rolls, 20 minutes for loaves or 30-35 minutes for one loaf. Remove from oven and brush with egg white mixed with cold water. Return to oven for 5 to 10 minutes longer until golden brown.
I added the dry Italian Seasoning at the point of the flour.
Then I sprinkled coarse salt
on top after I brushed the loaf with oil.
The bread was crusty, and soft inside...and the flavor was exceptional.
There was no need for butter, the flavor of the bread could stand on it's own.
But, of course, butter always makes it taste divine!
This week, I think we'll try this recipe again, but this time add parmesan cheese.
Happy baking!

"A wise and frugal government,
which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement,
and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government."
~ Thomas Jefferson

10 comments:

Kate said...

Your bread looks great. I am looking forward to cooler weather so that I can bake!

beedeebabee♥ said...

Hi Lilly! I was just about to shut down my computer, and I took one last look at my dashboard and saw your wonderful comment! What a sweetie!!!...so of course I had to pop on over to peek into your blog...AND WE'RE NEIGHBORS!!! I saw so many familiar things on your wonderfully delicious, mouth watering blog, I just loved it!!! That Italian bread looks amazing!...I can just imagine eating a big hunk with some fresh butter! I'll be back often to visit your wonderful blog. Thanks for finding me, so I could find you! Hugs, Paulette :o)

Shauna said...

I love fresh baked bread. For some reason I can't shape mine worth a flip though!

Judit said...

Hi Lilly, Welcome to my blog!
( http://foltmorzsak.blogspot.com/ )
I was very happy to see, you are my follower.
You have a new follower too.
I love home-made bread too. And I often make home-made bread and lots of cakes and biscuits.
:)
Hugs: Judit

Gary and Elizabeth~ said...

Hi Lilly,
Thank you so much for visiting "Home is Where the Heart is". It's wonderful to meet you.
I love your blog and your recipes are wonderful and the pictures are so beautiful, they are making me so hungry!. My husband is of Italian decent, I must try your fench bread receipe for him.
I will be vising often,
Take care and enjoy your week,
Elizabeth

~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ said...

Hi Lilly~ ~ It's so nice to meet you. I can smell the bread from here. . .Ahrisha~ ~

ButterYum said...

Oh my... .I did NOT need to see this post today, especially since I haven't had dinner yet - YIKES!

Thanks for including bread machine instructions... I just might have to give this one a try!

Karen said...

The bread looks delish, however, I could honestly smell that lovely apple and raisin pie.
Come see me!
Karen
Ladybug Creek

Elise said...

Wow, this looks great. One of my recent interviews prompted comments about Brazilian bread - but no-one seems to have the recipe !

Yira said...

This bread looks like it taste awesome...I love freshly baked bread. Thanks for sharing the the recipe.

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