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Old 08-04-2007, 04:05 AM posted to rec.food.recipes
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Default Italian Bread

Italian Bread

2 - packages fast-rising yeast
1 - teaspoon sugar
2-1/2 - cup tepid water (110 degrees)
6-1/2 - cup good-quality unbleached bread flour
1 - teaspoon salt
1 - teaspoon water
1/2 - cup cornmeal

In a glass, dissolve sugar into 1 cup of tepid (105-degree) water. Stir in
yeast. Let stand five minutes to proof. At this point, the yeast should be
foaming. In a mixing bowl, put in the yeast. Then add the four cup of
flour. Beat mixture 10 minutes. You want the dough to pull away from side
of the mixing bowl. Add your salt and remaining 1-1/2 cup water. Then add
the additional 2-1/2 cup of flour. Knead mixture with the dough hook of
an electric mixture for five minutes. If kneading by hand, knead dough
for 15 minutes. Add more water if dough becomes dry. Grease large bowl.
Put in the dough to bowl and cover with a clean towel.

Let the dough raise 1-1/2 hours or until double in size. In the middle of
the dough, punch down and form the dough into 2 or 3 loaves. Clean a
surface and spread some flour. Place loaves on floured surface and cover
with towel. Let loaves rise to double in size this is about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450 F. In the oven, you can add a pizza stone or bread
bricks. Also, place a pan of hot water on bottom oven shelf. This gives it
a great crust. After loaves have doubled, spread cornmeal on pizza stone
or bread bricks. Or, you can use a greased cookie sheet. Slide in loaves
and bake 25 minutes or until golden brown. The loaves sound hollow when
you tap a loaf. Cool the bread on metal rack.

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