Homemade Italian Bread

Homemade Bread Baked Italian Bread

Isn’t it amazing how the smell of homemade bread wafting through the air can transcend us back in time? A time when things were simple.  Flour + yeast + water = bread.

Today, there are so many different grains available to us that so many people are making bread with barley, milletQuinoa, you name it!  I get it, it’s healthy.  But sometimes I just crave a traditional, warm, crusty Italian bread.  There is nothing like it. Chewy, soft and delicious.

Bread Flour

When baking bread,  I like to use bread flour instead of all-purpose flour.  The higher protein content of the bread flour, ie. gluten, gives the bread a lighter, chewier texture.  Have you ever made bread that comes out too crumbly or dense? Using bread flour will prevent that problem; provided you allow the dough enough time to develop the gluten.  So that means mixing or kneading the dough a bit longer.  It also helps if you let the dough rest for a period of time before shaping it into a loaf.

Baking bread does take practice,  but with patience, you too can make delicious homemade Italian bread.  Try this delicious recipe, you won’t be disappointed.

Rating

Homemade Italian Bread

Crusty Italian Bread in basket sprinkled with sesame seeds

 5 cups Bread Flour
 ¾ cup water
 4 ½ tsp Dry Active Yeast
 3 tsp sugar
 1 ½ tsp salt
 2 tbsp sesame seeds
Egg Wash
 1 egg white
 2 tsp water

1

Combine 3 cups flour with dry yeast, salt and sugar in stand mixing bow. Using dough hook on low speed.

mix dry ingredients

2

Place water in a microwave-safe dish and add 1 tbsp. butter

add butter to water

3

Heat water and butter in the microwave until it is very warm 120-130 degrees Fahrenheit. (do not overheat as the hot water can kill active yeast)

heated water to 130 degrees

4

With mixer on low speed, add warm water and butter. Mix for 2 minutes.

Add remaining flour one 1/2 cup at a time, mixing until all the flour is fully incorporated with each addition.

Stop mixer on occasion and scrap down the sides of the mixing bowl.

Continue mixing on lowest speed for 4 to 5 minutes.

Turn mixer to next highest speed and allow to mix for additional 4 to 5 minutes. The dough will start to have a nice elastic texture to it and will start to pull away from the mixing bowl.

*Do not overmix beyond that point as the dough can lose its elasticity.

5

Cover dough with damp towel and let rest for 20 minutes.

Pizza Dough

6

Cut dough in half.

cut in pizza dough

7

On a floured surface, take one half of the dough and punch down to "de-gas" and fold dough over onto itself a few times.

Then, roll out into a 10" x 14" rectangle.

8

9

Spray cooking oil on a baking sheet and sprinkle with semolina flour or cornmeal

10

Starting on the longer side of the rectangle roll the dough from end to end.

Place on a cookie sheet seam side down and tuck both ends under.

11

Repeat the rolling process for the other 1/2 of dough. Place dough roll on the baking sheet allowing room for the rising process.

Brush a light coating of olive oil on top of each dough roll and cover lightly with plastic wrap.

Put the dough in fridge overnight, or on counter until fully risen.

You can check by pressing into the dough with your finger if it leaves a dent, it is ready. If the dough bounces back, it requires more time to rise.

12

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F or 400F if using convection setting.

Mix egg white with water, and brush on top of each loaf.

brush dough with egg wash

13

Cut slits across top of bread and sprinkle sesame seeds lightly over the top

Place in preheated oven for 25 - 30 minutes. ( For best bread results, use a steam tray in the bottom of the oven)

Let cool completely before slicing.

Dough on baking sheet with hand sprinkling sesame seeds

14

Baked italian bread

Ingredients

 5 cups Bread Flour
 ¾ cup water
 4 ½ tsp Dry Active Yeast
 3 tsp sugar
 1 ½ tsp salt
 2 tbsp sesame seeds
Egg Wash
 1 egg white
 2 tsp water

Directions

1

Combine 3 cups flour with dry yeast, salt and sugar in stand mixing bow. Using dough hook on low speed.

mix dry ingredients

2

Place water in a microwave-safe dish and add 1 tbsp. butter

add butter to water

3

Heat water and butter in the microwave until it is very warm 120-130 degrees Fahrenheit. (do not overheat as the hot water can kill active yeast)

heated water to 130 degrees

4

With mixer on low speed, add warm water and butter. Mix for 2 minutes.

Add remaining flour one 1/2 cup at a time, mixing until all the flour is fully incorporated with each addition.

Stop mixer on occasion and scrap down the sides of the mixing bowl.

Continue mixing on lowest speed for 4 to 5 minutes.

Turn mixer to next highest speed and allow to mix for additional 4 to 5 minutes. The dough will start to have a nice elastic texture to it and will start to pull away from the mixing bowl.

*Do not overmix beyond that point as the dough can lose its elasticity.

5

Cover dough with damp towel and let rest for 20 minutes.

Pizza Dough

6

Cut dough in half.

cut in pizza dough

7

On a floured surface, take one half of the dough and punch down to "de-gas" and fold dough over onto itself a few times.

Then, roll out into a 10" x 14" rectangle.

8

9

Spray cooking oil on a baking sheet and sprinkle with semolina flour or cornmeal

10

Starting on the longer side of the rectangle roll the dough from end to end.

Place on a cookie sheet seam side down and tuck both ends under.

11

Repeat the rolling process for the other 1/2 of dough. Place dough roll on the baking sheet allowing room for the rising process.

Brush a light coating of olive oil on top of each dough roll and cover lightly with plastic wrap.

Put the dough in fridge overnight, or on counter until fully risen.

You can check by pressing into the dough with your finger if it leaves a dent, it is ready. If the dough bounces back, it requires more time to rise.

12

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F or 400F if using convection setting.

Mix egg white with water, and brush on top of each loaf.

brush dough with egg wash

13

Cut slits across top of bread and sprinkle sesame seeds lightly over the top

Place in preheated oven for 25 - 30 minutes. ( For best bread results, use a steam tray in the bottom of the oven)

Let cool completely before slicing.

Dough on baking sheet with hand sprinkling sesame seeds

14

Baked italian bread

Italian Bread

 

One Comment Add yours

  1. Jen says:

    Definitely trying this one next weekend! I’ll let you know how it goes!!

I love to hear from my readers. If you liked a recipe that you found here, please let me know.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.