by Updated April 10, 2017,
This is a crusty Italian style bread, a delicious bread to serve with soup, pasta dishes, or just enjoy toasted or for sandwiches. This recipe makes 2 loaves of Italian bread.
Photo Credit: Diana Rattray
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Rise and Rest Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
Makes 2 Loaves
- Pour warm water into a warm mixing bowl; sprinkle with the yeast. Let stand for 5 minutes, then stir in about 2 cups of the flour. Beat well; add salt and gradually beat in all but about 2 cups of the flour. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and cover with a clean dish towel; let rest 10 minutes.
- Knead by hand for 20 minutes or until dough is very elastic, kneading in as much of the remaining flour as necessary for smooth dough. Place dough in a lightly buttered bowl, turning to grease all of the dough surface.
- Cover bowl with foil then cover with a dish cloth and let rise in a warm place for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in bulk. Punch dough down and let rise to double again, about 1 hour longer.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half and form each portion into a ball.
- Cover with dish cloth and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Roll each half of the dough into a 15-by-8-inch rectangle about 1/2-inch thick. Roll up tightly, starting with short side, sealing as you roll. Taper ends by rolling out with hands until loaf is 10 to 11 inches long.
- Place loaves seam side down on buttered baking dishes which have been sprinkled with yellow cornmeal.
- Add 1 tablespoon of water to egg white in a bowl and whisk lightly; brush over and along sides of loaves.
- Cover the loaves with a damp cloth without touching dough -- place glasses or cups around loaves and place towels on them.
- Place pans in in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour, until doubled in bulk.
- Place a shallow pan on bottom rack of oven; fill with boiling water.
- Bake loaves in center of oven preheated to 375 F for 20 minutes.
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