Sandra's Italian Bread Recipe

Italian Bread

Italian Bread

4 ingredients:

1 package dry yeast
1 ¾ c. tepid water
2 tsp salt
5 ¼ c. all-purpose flour

Sprinkle the dry yeast in the tepid water and let sit in a warm place for about 5 minutes.

Measure out flour and salt into Kitchen-Aid mixer. Turn mixer on slow and add water slowly in a trickle, until completely mixed together. Continue to mix dough until it becomes elastic, about 10 minutes. Dough will separate easily from dough hook.

Remove dough and spray glass bowl with cooking spray. Replace dough and roll ball in pan to coat evenly. Cover with a piece of clear wrap and a terry towel and set on the back of the stove-top for about 1 1/2 hours. When dough has risen to double, punch down and re-cover for another 40 minutes.

Set pot back in warm dry spot for about 2-4 hours, until dough has risen to double.

If you’re not ready to bake the bread just yet, you can cover and chill in refrigerator overnight or 12 hours. This is called “proofing”.

Preheat oven to 370. Set a shallow dish on the bottom rack of your oven and add 2 cups boiling water.

Pour a 1/4 of corn meal in a pie tin or other shallow dish and set aside.

Place dough on a lightly floured cutting board and fold in half, then turn over and roll it around with a circular motion to form a round loaf. There will be a “belly button” on the bottom if you do it correctly. Place dough belly-button side down in corn meal to coat the bottom, this prevents the bread from sticking to the pan. The loaf may split in the middle at the fold, that is ok! If it doesn’t, take a sharp serrated knife and make cuts across the top of the loaf about 3″ across, 2-3 is fine.

Set the loaf on a cookie sheet and bake for 40 minutes or until top is golden brown. Viola!

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