National Bake Week is a week created to encourage people to bake from home. Why not try your hand at some homemade Italian bread? Nothing tastes as good as freshly baked bread straight out of the oven! Thanks to Jenny R. in our Chester, NY office for the submission.
- 1 Propane Oven
- 2 cups Warm water 105-115 degrees F
- 2 1/4 tsp Active dry yeast
- 1 tbsp Sugar
- 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 1/2 tsp Sal
- 5 cups Bread flour
- 1 large Egg whites
- 1 tbsp Sesame seeds
- 1 can Cooking spray
- Pour 1 cup of warm water into the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk in the yeast and the sugar. Let proof (turn foamy) for 5-10 minutes.
- Whisk in the remaining water, plus the olive oil and salt. Add the bread flour. Use the mixer's dough hook attachment to mix and knead the dough at low speed for 2 minutes.
- Turn off the machine and let the dough rest for 5 minutes. Continue kneading at low speed until a fairly smooth dough develops--about 7 minutes.
- Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead by hand until the dough feels very smooth--about 1 minute.
- Form the dough into a ball, place it in a large, lightly greased mixing bowl, and flip to grease the other side. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and let the dough rest until doubled in volume--90 minutes to 2 hours.
- Deflate the dough by punching it, and then turn it onto a lightly floured work surface. Pat the dough into an oval shape, and then roll it up into a short, fat loaf.
- Transfer the loaf to a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover it loosely with cling wrap, and let rest until doubled in volume --about 30 minutes. After 15 minutes have passed, center the oven rack and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Put the egg white in a small bowl, and whisk it until it turns slightly foamy. Brush all of the white over the fully risen loaf. Sprinkle the top of the loaf with sesame seeds.
- Bake until the bread colors deeply, and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped with the fingers--30 to 40 minutes. Transfer the loaf to a wire rack and let it cool completely before slicing.