recipe for Basic Italian Bread comes from Deborah
Mele's web site Italian
love affair with Italian cooking began almost
30 years ago when I married into a large Italian
family, overflowing with talented cooks. Throughout
the early years of my marriage, I had the opportunity
to learn the basics of Italian cuisine, and to
perfect traditional family recipes."
is a must visit web site - if you would like to
learn more then <click
is my method of making good, crusty Italian bread.
Once you know how, you can do lots of things with
this dough. I start with a biga or starter the
day before, and leave it sit in the fridge overnight,
and complete the bread the next day. I don't knead
my bread as much as the traditional recipes call
for, but I get great results. Even if you've never
made bread before, you'll find this recipe easy".
for Italian Bread
to make Italian Bread
1/2 Teaspoon Active Dry Yeast
1 Cup Lukewarm water
2 Cups Unbleached, All-purpose Flour
2 Cups Warm Water (about 90 degrees F.)
1 Pkg. Active Dry Yeast
5 - 6 Cups All-purpose, Unbleached Flour
2 Teaspoons Salt
the yeast and water together, and then slowly
start adding the flour, mixing well.
with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature
for up to 6 hours.
the water in a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast
overtop and mix well. Let sit 10 minutes until
bubbly. Add the biga, flour, and salt and stir
with a wooden spoon (or mix with your hands)
until everything is mixed. The dough will be
fairly wet and sticky at this point. Cover and
let stand in a warm spot for about 1 to 1 1/2
hours until doubled in volume.
down the dough, folding it over on itself two
or three times, cover and let rise once more
until doubled, about 1 hour. If you choose,
you could refrigerate your dough at this time
and leave it overnight to prepare the next day.
out your dough onto a floured baking sheet,
and without overworking it too much shape into
one large or two smaller round or oval shaped
loaves, using as much extra flour as needed
to keep it from sticking. Slash across the tops
of the loaves with a serrated knife or razor
just prior to baking.
the oven to 350ºF. and place a casserole
dish with boiling water on the lower oven rack.
Bake your bread 30 minutes, turn the baking
sheet around, and reduce the heat to 300º
and bake for another 30 - 45 minutes. At this
point your bread should be golden brown and
should sound hollow when you tap the bottom.
Allow the bread to cool to room temperature
Tip for Italian Bread:
making Italian bread ou could also use a baguette
pan to make long thin loaves, or spread your
dough across a well-oiled cookie sheet to make
of Italian Bread:
Add 4 Tbs. finely chopped rosemary to the flour.
Brush the loaves with water and sprinkle with
coarse sea salt just prior to baking.
Add 12 oz. flavorful pitted olives, coarsely
chopped to the flour mixture.
Chi Mangia Bene, Mangia Italiano
(Those Who Eat Well, Eat Italian)
Deborah Mele, Italian Food Forever