This is a basic recipe for one loaf of rustic Italian bread, soft inside and crusty on the outside. Well worth making more often. Double the ingredients for 2 loaves.
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp dry yeast
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup hot water not boiling
beaten egg for brushing
cornmeal for dusting on the tray optional
olive oil for coating the tray and pan
Put flour and salt mix together. Make a well in the middle add yeast, sugar and hot water let it sit for about 10 minutes until the yeast foams (if it doesn't then the yeast is not good, test the yeast before you put it into the flour, if you want to make sure).
Bring all the ingredients together and make a dough, after adding the 1/2 cup hot water make sure not to add anymore, if needed add more water a tsp at a time. Once the dough is formed knead for about 10 minutes pushing and folding the dough.
Coat the bowl with a little oil so the dough won't stick to it, leave the dough covered with a moist cloth until it doubles; 1 hour is sufficient but I left for about 6 hours.
Knead again and make a loaf shape then cover with a moist cloth and let it rest for another 1 hour to double in size.
Preheat the oven to 425F. Brush the top with the beaten egg and bake for 10 minutes in a pizza tray prepared with olive oil and cornmeal. Turn the tray around once and bake at 350F for another 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and let it rest for about 20 minutes before cutting to serve.
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