Saturday, March 16, 2013

Homemade Italian Bread

Homemade Italian Bread
4 Loaves                                             2 Loaves
5 c. warm water (110 to 115°F)             2.5  c.warm water
2 pkgs. active dry yeast                         1    pkg active dry yeast
1/4 c. olive oil                                       2    Tbsp  olive oil
5 lbs. (10 cups) flour                            2.5  lbs (5 cups)  Flour
5 tsp. salt                                             2.5  Tsp                  
Sprinkle yeast on warm water, stir to dissolve; let stand 5 minutes and add olive oil.
In separate bowl, mix flour and salt, making a well in the center; stir yeast mixture and pour into flour well. Mix well with hands. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth, about 15 minutes. Cover and set in a warm place to rise about 1 1/2 hours.

When double in size, cut dough into 4 equal pieces. Roll into loaves, place on lightly greased baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal, and "put to bed" (cover and place in warm place to rise).

When doubled in size, bake in a preheated oven at 425°F for 10 minutes; reduce temperature to 350°F and bake 25 minutes more until nicely browned and the loaves sound hollow when tapped on the bottom with your fingers. Makes 4 loaves.

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