Italian BreadFrom ravenseyes 10 months ago
How to make it
- Take the 1/2 cup -110 degree water, add the honey and disolve - break up the cube of yeast into the water and cover with plastic wrap - keeping in a warm place. Let it proof for 5 min.
- Mix together the 3 1/2 cups of flour - I used an unbleached white flour with the salt.
- Add the proofed yeast and mix - and slowly add the 1 cup of water - this is best done in a mixer as the bread just rises better - continue to mix at medium until the dough comes together in a ball - you may need to add the extra 1/2 cup flour if it sticks to the bowl to much. Turn your dough into a bowl that has been oiled with any type of cooking oil (to prevent sticking - cover with plastic wrap.
- In your microwave set a glass cup of any type as long as it is microwave safe filled to 1 cup with regular tap water and on high cook the water for 3 minutes or until the water has come to a boil for at least 1 minute - place your dough into the microwave and do not open the door of the microwave for 15 mins - at the 15 min mark remove the dough and repeat the step where you boil the water in the microwave - again set the dough in the microwave (make sure you leave the cup of boiling water on one side of the microwave - do not remove) for another 15 mins. again do not open the door until the 15 mins has passed.
- Knead your dough and cut into two equal pieces. Shape into long loaves - approximately 12 - 14 inches in length - I lined my cookie sheet with parchment paper - and sprinkled the bottom of the pan with 1/4 cup of cornmeal before placing the dough on the pan - cut several slits in each loaf approx 1/2 inch deep - allow the loaves to rise for another 1/2 hr covered and in a warm spot - I find that using a cotton tea towel works best and ensuring that I have a warm spot for them to rise creates the best results.
- Just before placing the loaves in the oven take the whites of one egg and whip with 2 tablespoons of cold water and brush the egg white on the top of the loaves - this gives it a nice color.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees and bake for 20 mins - remove from pan onto cooling rack and cool for 15 - 20 mins before cutting - enjoy!!