How to make it

  • Sift flour into a large bowl.
  • Mix in salt by hand.
  • Move the ingredients to the sides of the bowl, creating a large well in the middle.
  • Pour the yeast into the well.
  • Pour 1 cup of lukewarm water over the yeast.
  • Sprinkle about 1 Tbsp of flour over top.
  • Wait 10 minutes for bubbles to appear in the yeast.
  • When bubbles have appeared you can start to mix the ingredients (hands work best, but you can use a mixer) to form the dough. Gradually incorporate the flour that is on the sides of the bowl. If it's too runny or sticky just add a bit more flour at the end.
  • At this "pre-kneading" stage you should have a round firm ball of dough. If it's too sticky add a little more flour.
  • To knead, remove the bread from the bowl and place on a lightly floured surface.
  • Knead it by pushing your palms into and then turning it one quarter. Keep kneading and doing quarter turns for about 5-10 minutes until the bread is supple and non-sticky.
  • Place the bread in a lightly floured bowl and cover with a damp cloth.
  • Let it rise for about 1 hour until double in size.
  • Preheat oven to 375F.
  • Re-sprinkle counter top with flour.
  • Prepare a baking pan by lightly oiling and sprinkling the bottom with cornmeal.
  • Place dough on floured surface.
  • Punch it down once and re-shape it into a loaf.
  • Put the loaf in the baking pan.
  • Cover with dish towel and let rise for about 1 hour until double in size.
  • Coat the top with the beaten egg.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • *Focaccia Bread Recipe:
  • Follow the recipe above but add 1 cup of mashed potatoes when you are mixing the flour and yeast mixture.
  • Right before baking coat top with olive oil and sprinkle with course salt.
  • Bake at 400°F until it is lightly browned.
  • *Ciabatta Bread Recipe:
  • Follow basic Italian bread recipe above.
  • Add 4 Tbsp olive oil when mixing the flour with the yeast mixture. Form a loaf that is about 1 inch high.
  • Before baking, sprinkle flour on the top of the loaf.
  • Bake at 425°F until browned (about 30 minutes).
  • *Olive Bread Recipe:
  • Follow any of the three bread recipes above .Add 1/2 cup olives at the end of mixing stage.
  • Follow baking instructions as indicated in each recipe.
  • *You can use sun-dried tomatoes and shredded parmesan create delicious bread. Just add during the mixing stage.

Reviews & Comments 3

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    " It was excellent "
    trigger ate it and said...
    I love Italian bread Kathy the work involved is a labor of love.
    High Five
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  • rosemaryblue 10 years ago
    Wonderful recipe! I love to make bread, and this is so versatile!
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    " It was excellent "
    greekgirrrl ate it and said...
    Excellent..I am going to make this today with some black oil-cured olives..Thanks!
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