I have been married to a wonderful Christian man since 1976. The Lord has blessed us with two daughters and two sons. I consider each day the Lord gives me on the earth yet another chance to serve Him.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Italian Bread

I love a good crusty on the outside, soft on the inside bread.  This one fits that bill.

(2 loafs)

*2 cups warm water
*2 teaspoons active dry yeast
*4 2/3 cups bread flour
*1/4 teaspoon sugar
*2 teaspoons salt
*1 tablespoon olive oil
*1 tablespoon corn meal

~Combine water, yeast & sugar into a small bowl.
~Set sit for 10 minutes until yeast proofs (foams).
~Mix flour & salt in a large mixing bowl.
~Add yeast water and mix until incorporated.
~Mix in olive oil (do not add this at the same time as the yeast-water).
~Knead for 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and satiny.
~Place the dough into a large oiled bowl.
~Turn dough so that it's oiled on all sides.
~Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm/draft free area.
~Allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
~Punch down dough.
~Sprinkle cooking stone or cookie sheet with corn meal.
~Roll into desired shape of loaf.
~Place on cooking stone.
~Cut about 1/4 inch deep slice, along the top of the loaf, stopping short of the ends.
~Cover with with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled in size, 30-60 minutes.
~Place a bowl of water in the oven.
~Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
~Put bread in oven, on bottom rack and bake for 10 minutes.
~Reduce heat to 400 degrees, bake another 20-30 minutes.
~Bread is done when it makes a hollow sound when you thump on the bottom with your thumb.

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