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Dominique's Italian Bread

Having grown up in the Philadelphia area and lived a number of years in Harrison Country, West Virginia, I have a great influence from Italian food.

Makes 2 or 3 (10 slices per loaf) loaves:Bread Recipes from AlansKitchen.com

Prep time: 30 to 45 min.
Rising time: 2 hrs. 15 min.
Cooking time: 25 min.

Ingredients:

  •       2  packages fast-rising yeast

  •       1  teaspoon sugar

  • 2-1/2  cups tepid water (110 degrees)

  • 6-1/2  cups good-quality unbleached bread flour

  •       1  teaspoon salt

  •       1  teaspoon water

  •    1/2  cup cornmeal

Directions:

  1. In a glass, dissolve sugar into 1 cup of tepid (105-degree) water.  Stir in yeast.  Let stand five minutes to proof.  At this point, the yeast should be foaming.  In a mixing bowl, put in the yeast.  Then add the four cups of flour.  Beat mixture 10 minutes.  You want the dough to pull away from side of the mixing bowl.  Add your salt and remaining 1-1/2 cup water.  Then add the additional 2-1/2 cups of flour.

  2. Knead mixture with the dough hook of an electric mixture for five minutes.  If kneading by hand, knead dough for 15 minutes.  Add more water if dough becomes dry.  Grease large bowl.  Put in the dough to bowl and cover with a clean towel.  Let the dough raise 1-1/2 hours or until double in size.

  3. In the middle of the dough, punch down and form the dough into 2 or 3 loaves.  Clean a surface and spread some flour.  Place loaves on floured surface and cover with towel.  Let loaves rise to double in size this is about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450 F.

  1. In the oven, you can add a pizza stone or bread bricks.  Also, place a pan of hot water on bottom oven shelf.  This gives it a great crust. 

  2. After loaves have doubled, spread cornmeal on pizza stone or bread bricks.   Or, you can use a greased cookie sheet.  Slide in loaves and bake 25 minutes or until golden brown.

  3. The loaves sound hollow when you tap a loaf.  Cool the bread on metal rack.

Alan's Kitchen Picnicking & Tailgating Tip:
This bread is great for any sandwich.

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