Better Than Any Bakery Bread…Quick and Easy Italian Bread
I have to confess, bread is my perfect and favorite food. I like all kinds of bread. I do not believe I have met a bread that I do not like. It has been said that during WWII there were laws that prohibited fresh bread from being sold because it was thought that possibly it could lead to people eating in excess and not in moderation.
” Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all food; and good bread with fresh butter is the great of feast ” – James Beard.
I agree 100% with you Mr. Beard. This is my bread recipe that I make 2 -3 times a week.
1 Tablespoon Yeast
¼ cup warm Water
½ teaspoon Sugar
1 cup Hot Water
1 ½ Tablespoons Sugar
1 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
1 ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
3 Tablespoons Oil
3 ½ Cup Flour
In a small bowl add your warm water, ½ teaspoon sugar and Yeast. Give it a quick stir and then set the yeast aside to allow for it to bloom. This takes about 5-10 minutes. The water temperature for the yeast is critical. It will not bloom if the water is to cold and if it is to hot, it will kill the yeast. Using the baby bath water test (warm to your inner forearm) will result in the needed temperature.
In a large mixing bowl add the remaining ingredients and pour in the yeast.
Stir ingredients together a little bit. I like to mix my dough by hand, but you could use your Kitchen aide mixer using the dough hook until the dough starts pulling away from the bowl.
If mixing by hand like I do, turn the dough out onto floured surface. It will be lumpy, dry in some areas, moist in others, and there will be flour not mixed in.
Make sure you have removed your wedding rings or other rings that you might be wearing ( it is little sticky in the beginning) and start patting and turning the dough over onto itself. The dough will start to come together as if it were mixed in an electric mixer rather quickly.
Once the dough is together, start the kneading process. I like to knead the dough for about 5-10 minutes or until the dough is soft. This is one of my favorite things to do. I guess it is therapeutic in a sense.
When the kneading is complete, divide the dough into 2 pieces. On a floured surface roll each piece out into about a 9×12 rectangle.
Roll each piece into a jellyroll. Smooth out each end tucking in the dough. If one end or both ends of the roll seem thinner than the center of the roll, turn under about an inch of the dough and reshape the dough ends with your hands smoothing the edges.
Using a baking sheet with parchment paper, place the 2 rolls seam side down on the baking sheet.
If desired, cut 3 -4 slits about ¼-1/2 inch deep into the top of the loafs. For a crunchy outer crust, brush with a beaten egg. For a soft loaf, omit brushing the top with egg.
Place the baking sheet in a warm place and let the dough rise for 30-45 minutes.
Look closely, can you tell where I have the dough rise? I read this trick some time back. I wish I could remember where I learned it so I could give credit, but it has been years ago.
If you guessed in the dryer, you are correct. I turn on the dryer for about 1-2 minutes. Just enough time to warm up the dryer drum and then place the baking sheet in the dryer and close the dryer door.
After the dough has risen, bake the bread at 375 for about 12-17 or until golden brown.
Oh, I so wish you could smell the wonderful aroma of this bread. The house smells magnificent.
Hope you enjoy this bread. Please leave me a comment and tell me what you liked about the easy Italian bread.