Thursday, October 6, 2011

Italian Sandwich Bread

My husband and I really enjoyed this bread. I made it to go along with the How Sweet Eat's Mozzarella stuffed meatballs for the Cowboys game last week and, while the game didn't go well, I thought the meal was excellent. We also used the bread for the rest of the week for sandwiches and toast.

Originally from Good Thymes and Good Food.

Italian Sandwich Bread

2c warm water, about 110-115º, divided
2 1/4t active dry yeast
5-5 3/4c bread flour
2T light brown sugar
2 1/4t salt
1 egg white, lightly beaten


In a glass measuring cup, stir the yeast in with 1/2c of the warm water. Let stand for about 5 mins, until foamy.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine 5c flour, sugar and the salt. mix on a low speed to combine. Once mixed, add the yeast mixture, remaining water and EVOO. Switch to the dough hook attachment and mix on low speed until dough starts to come together, about 7 mins.
Transfer dough to lightly floured surface and knead by hand for 1-2 mins, or until the dough is smooth, firm and elastic. (Dough should not be loose).
Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl and spray the dough with a thin coating of cooking spray. Wrap the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to proof in a warm, draft-free place for 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 425º and place a piece of parchment on a baking stone and place baking stone in oven to preheat. (Optional-bread can be baked on a baking sheet).
Remove the plastic wrap from the top of the risen dough and punch down. Flatten the rounded dough with the heel of your hand into a large rectangle. Roll the dough up tightly, sealing the seam well after each roll. The dough should be an oval shape with rounded ends. Be sure to seal the ends, as well, by pinching the dough together.
Place the dough on a floured and inverted baking sheet (if not using a baking stone, place the dough on the normal side of the baking sheet). Cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow the dough to rest for 30 mins, or until doubled in size.
Brush the dough with the egg white and using sharp knife, create a 1/4" deep slice down the middle of the dough.
Place a cake pan (or other shallow pan) filled halfway with water on the bottom rack of the oven. Carefully slide dough from the inverted baking sheet to the preheated baking stone (or leave on the baking sheet if not using a stone). Bake for 30-40 mins, or until a hollow thud is heard when tapping the bottom of the bread. Allow to cool before slicing.

*Makes one large loaf.

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