Traditional Italian Bread

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Traditional Italian Bread



Spray a large bowl with no stick cooking spray.

In a small bowl, blend yeast with 1 cup warm water and allow to rest for 5 minutes.  Place 3 cups water with salt in a second large bowl.  Add the yeast.  Blend 5 cups 50/50 flour with BEST FOR BREAD FLOURPour flour into water, stirring as you pour.  When dough is stiff, turn onto a floured board and knead it into a smooth, elastic ball, adding flour if necessary.  This takes about 10 minutes.

Put dough in prepared bowl and turn to coat thoroughly.  Cover with plastic wrap, then with a damp towel, and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place for about 1 hour..  The dough will almost double in bulk.

Spray a baking sheet with no stick cooking spray.  Turn the dough onto a floured board and knead down.  Cut the dough into 4 pieces and form into 4 loaves, 12 inches long and 3 inches wide.

Put on prepared sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1 hour.  Preheat oven to 425º F.  Bake bread 35 to 45 minutes.  During the first few minutes of baking, throw 3 to 4 ice cubes onto the oven floor to create steam.  This will make a crisp crust.  Remove the bread from the sheet and reduce oven temperature to 350º F.  Put bread back in the oven directly on oven rack to finish baking.  Bake until golden brown, about 20 more minutes.




Makes 4 loaves, 6 servings each loaf. Each serving: 137 calories; 3 gm dietary fiber; less than 1 gm soluble fiber; 29 gm carbohydrates; 5 gm protein; less than 1 gm fat (3% calories from fat); 0 mg cholesterol; 164 mg sodium; 88 mg potassium; 11 mg calcium. Print this Recipe

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