Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Italian Bread

When we lived in New Jersey, Italian bread was one of those things you took for granted. If you went out to eat at an Italian restaurant (which we did often), then you ate delicious hot Italian bread. Out here in Colorado there just aren't many Italian restaurants and so no Italian bread. Until the other day when I threw all the ingredients into my bread machine and viola! delicious hot Italian bread. It is good with just butter slathered on top with maybe a bit of apple butter. Or make into a sandwich like the Italian Grilled Sandwich with Tomato Tortellini Soup.

Italian Bread

2 packages (1/4 ounces each) active dry yeast
3 cups warm water, divided
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons shortening
1 tablespoon salt
1 egg
8 - 9 cups all-purpose flour
Melted butter

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast to 1/2 cup warm water. Add the sugar, shortening, salt, egg, remaining water and 4 cups flour; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Shape each portion into a loaf. Place seam side down on greased baking sheets. With a sharp knife, make four shallow diagonal slashes across the top of each loaf. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Bake at 350 degrees for 37-42 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks. Brush with melted butter. Cool.

Recipe from The Taste of Home Baking Book

No comments:

Post a Comment