- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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 ,
- 109 mg sodium ,
- 17 g carb. ,
- 1 g fiber ,
- 3 g pro.