Q:

What is a recipe for crusty Italian bread?

A:

Quick Answer

To make crusty Italian bread, soften 1 yeast cake in 2 cups warm water for five minutes, mix in 5 3/4 cups flour and 1 tablespoon brown sugar in your mixer until dough forms, and then add 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon salt, and beat on medium for about 10 minutes. Let the dough rise until doubled, punch down, and shape into a loaf. Let rise for 30 minutes, and bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes.

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Full Answer

For the an extra crusty loaf, after the second rise, brush the loaf with beaten egg white, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Cut three slashes across the top of the loaf about 1/4 inch deep. Spray the dough thoroughly with water, and place immediately into the preheated oven on top of a preheated baking stone.

Close the oven door, and let the bread bake for three minutes. Open the oven, and spray the loaf with more water. Bake three more minutes, and spray the loaf one last time. Finish baking the bread, up to 45 more minutes.

Test the bread for doneness by thumping on the bottom of the loaf. If it sounds hollow, the bread is ready. Cool the bread on a wire rack to facilitate cutting.

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