Homemade bread doesn’t have to be hard or take all day. This Classic Italian Bread recipe uses only 6 ingredients and is ready in under two hours.
It is time for our monthly Bread Bakers challenge. This month’s theme is “Breads from Italy” and is hosted by Anshie Dhar of the blog Spice Roots. Anshie instructed us to cover the country with types of bread. I flunked this instruction because I’m not sure what part of Italy this Classic Italian Bread recipe comes from. If I were to guess I would say Puglia or the southern part of Italy.
That isn’t all I flunked. I made this bread three times before success! The first time I man-handled it and thought that was the reason it “deflated” before I had it in the oven. The second time it deflated again as soon as I scored it. Then I got to researching and determined that I was either over-proofing my bread or proofing it at too warm a temperature. I would say, I was doing both!
My biggest problem in making this bread is over-thinking it. The recipe stated to proof it for one hour for the first rise and 20 minutes for the second. I proofed it like most of the bread that I bake which is 60 to 90 minutes for the first rise and 60 minutes for the second. Also, I covered my dough with plastic wrap and set it in my oven that I had just barely warmed. I read that the air temperature for proofing bread doesn’t need to be any warmer than 70°F.
On the third go around, I followed the directions to the letter. A novel idea don’t you think? After one hour I gently deflated it by just pushing my fingertips into it to form a rectangle and keeping some bubbles in the dough. I folded it using the bâtard method and placed it on a cutting board covered with parchment paper. After a 20 minute proof, I baked the bread by sliding the parchment paper from the cutting board to the baking stone. You don’t need a stone but I have one and choose to use it. Hoping for a nice crust, I misted the walls of my hot oven with a spray bottle filled with filtered water to create a steam.
After the third attempt, this bread came out beautifully. You can see how the scores “bloomed” which didn’t happen on the earlier attempts. Note to self, simple can be delicious! John loved the flops, but he really loved the successful attempt!
Don’t have time to make it now? Pin it for later!
- 2-1/4 teaspoons yeast
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 cup warm water like bath water
- 2-1/4 cups bread flour divided
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Combine yeast, sugar, and water. Allow it to sit for approximately 5 minutes or until bubbly.
Add 2 cups of flour, salt, and olive oil to the yeast mixture and stir until combined with a wooden spoon.
Lightly flour a working surface and knead bread together until soft and silky. Approximately 10 minutes. Form a ball with the dough and put it into an oiled bowl, turning the dough once so it's oiled on both sides. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400°F. If using a baking stone, put it in the oven while preheating.
After 1 hour, turn the dough out onto a floured working surface. Gently deflate with your fingertips and form a rectangle. Form the dough into a batard or torpedo shape and put it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Alternatively, place it on parchment paper on a hard surface like the back of the baking sheet, pizza peel, or bread board. Set it aside to rise 20 minutes.
Score the bread 1/4" deep with a lame or sharp knife and place the bread in the oven. Optionally spray the oven walls with filtered water to create steam.
Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack before slicing.
Prep time includes proof time. Recipe originated by Girl Versus Dough
This bread makes a nice sandwich, french toast or just sliced with a slather of butter.
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.
We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.
If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to firstname.lastname@example.org
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#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page.
We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to email@example.com.
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