Monday, November 23, 2009

Rustic Italian Bread

I love homemade bread. The feel of it in my hands while I am kneading it. The puffiness of it after it rises. The smell of it as it is baking. And the wonderful luxery of it warm out of the oven with melting butter! So have I convinced you yet that you NEED to make some homemade bread to accompany your dinner tonight? Well if so, but you are thinking that bread is too hard to make. Or it would never turn out for you, then give this recipe a chance. This Bread is delicious and takes almost no effort at all to create! Rustic italian bread that is so quick and simple it may very well become a staple in your kitchen.

1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 packet (around 2 tsp) of yeast
1 tsp honey or sugar
3 3/4 cups unbleached flour
2 TBSP olive oil
1 tsp salt 

Disolve yeast in water and sweetener of your choice. Add in 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, and oil. Mix thoroughly. Cover tightly and let sit for 30 minutes.

Mix in another 1 1/2 cups flour. Dough will be very sticky. With floured or oiled hands turn dough out onto a floured surface using the remaining 3/4 cup of flour. Continue to knead the bread until it is no longer sticky. Cut into two equal parts and form two small loaves. Place loaves onto a pizza stone preferebly. If you do not have one, a cookie sheet works also. Place in cold oven for 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes slice diaganol lines on bread and set oven to 425 degrees while loaves are still in the oven. Bake for approx. 20 minutes or until golden brown. Can use a single large loaf pan also for one larger loaf.

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