This Italian bread recipe makes a wonderfully hearty bread...and, if you are looking for a delicious pizza or calzone dough recipe, this is it!
Here's what you are going to need:
2 cups of warm water (105° to 110° F)
2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil plus 1 Tablespoon for oiling the bowl
6 3/4 cups of bread flour (29 ounces)
2 1/2 Teaspoons of Instant Yeast
1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt (If using table salt, you'll need to use less, probably about 2 1/2 teaspoons)
1 Tablespoon of brown sugar
1 Egg white, slightly beaten
2 Tablespoons of Sesame Seeds
This Italian Bread recipe make 2 loaves
Here's what you need to do:
Combine the bread flour, instant yeast, salt and brown sugar.
Attach the dough hook attachment to a heavy duty mixer. In the bowl of the mixer, combine the water and 2 Tablespoons of the Olive Oil (if using Active Dry Yeast, place 1 package of Active Dry Yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer along with the warm water and allow to proof for 5 minutes before adding the 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil).
Turn the mixer on to the lowest speed.
Mix until the dough comes together and begins to form a ball.
Increase the speed to medium (number 2 speed on a Kitchen Aid) and knead until the dough becomes smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
Remove the dough from the bowl. Use the other Tablespoon of Olive Oil to oil the bowl.
Shape the dough into a ball.
Return the dough to the bowl and turn to cover the ball of dough with the Olive Oil.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place the bowl in a warm place, free from draft.
Allow to rise until double in size, about 1 hour.
Punch the dough down.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough in half.
Working with half of the dough at a time, flatten the dough into a rectangle.
Roll up tightly into an oblong loaf. Pinch the seam together.
Turn the ends under. Pinch all of the seems together well.
Place seam side down on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.
Add a little more flour to your work surface and use a clean towel to clean up the flour.
Use the floured towel to cover the dough. The flour will keep the dough from sticking to the towel. Place in a warm, draft-free place and allow to rise until double, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400° F.
Brush the loaves with the egg white.
Sprinkle with the sesame seeds.
Use a razor or a sharp knife (I use a box cutter that I keep just for kitchen use) to cut a slit down the center of the loaf about 1/4 inch deep.
Spray the loaves generously with water and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 3 minutes. Open the oven and spray the loaves again. Close the door and baking another 3 minutes. Open the door and spray for a third time.
Close the door and bake for a total of about 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when thumped with your finger or a wooden spoon.
Cool on a wire rack. Now here's the hard part....Allow the loaves to cool before cutting.
I think you're gonna really enjoy this Italian Bread Recipe!
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