Italian Bread

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4 users rated this recipe an average rating of 4.0
Makes:
30 servings
Yields:
Makes 2 loaves (30 servings)
Prep:
15 mins
Rise:
1 hr 45 mins
Bake:
40 mins 375°F
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Italian Bread

Ingredients
5 1/2
2
packages active dry yeast
1 1/2
teaspoons salt
2
cups warm water (120 degree F to 130 degree F)
 
Cornmeal
1
slightly beaten egg white
1
tablespoon water
1/4
teaspoon dried rosemary or basil, crushed, or 1/8 teaspoon onion powder or garlic powder (optional)

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl combine 2 cups of the flour, the yeast, and salt. Add the 2 cups warm water. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.
  2. On a floured surface, knead in enough remaining flour to make a stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (8 to 10 minutes total). Shape into a ball. Place dough in a greased bowl; turn once to grease surface. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double (1 to 1-1/2 hours).
  3. Punch dough down. Divide in half. Cover; let rest 10 minutes. Grease 2 baking sheets; sprinkle with cornmeal. On a lightly floured surface, roll each dough half into a 15x12-inch rectangle. Roll up from long side; seal well. Taper ends.
  4. Place, seam side down, on prepared baking sheets. Brush with a mixture of egg white, the 1 tablespoon water, and, if desired, an herb or onion or garlic powder. Cover and let rise until nearly double (about 45 minutes). Make 5 to 6 diagonal cuts, 1/4 inch deep, across tops.
  5. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 20 minutes. Brush again with the egg white mixture. Bake 20 to 25 minutes more or until bread sound shallow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack. Makes 2 loaves (30 servings).

From the Test Kitchen

Breadsticks:

Prepare Italian Bread as above, except divide each half of dough into 15 pieces. Roll each piece into an 8-inch rope. Place ropes on prepared baking sheets. Cover and let rise until nearly double (about 30 minutes). Brush with the egg white mixture. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 10 minutes. Brush again with egg white mixture. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degree F and bake for 20 to 25 minutes more or until golden. Cool. Makes 30 breadsticks.

Cool, wrap and store baked bread for 2 to 3 days at room temperature. Or freeze up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for 1 hour.

Nutrition Facts

(Italian Bread)
    Per serving:
  • 80 kcal cal.,
  • 109 mg sodium,
  • 17 g carb.,
  • 1 g fiber,
  • 3 g pro.
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
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