Thursday, September 30, 2010

Italian Bread for the bread maker


This is a bread recipe that you make in your breadmaker, so it's super easy. I made this to go with lasagna on a lazy Sunday afternoon, and by using the breadmaker, it's a perfect recipe to just leave alone so you can do other things (like make your lasagna).

I did have to make a few changes to the original recipe though. Not in the ingredient list, but in the process. I did have one issue that I think affected the texture of the bread, but not the taste. I had made the dough, got the loaves on a sheet to rise, got a BEAUTIFUL rise out of both loaves, and then I put the eggwash over them. Big Mistake. The loaves instantly fell and I couldn't get them to rise back up. I baked them anyway, and like I said - the taste was good but I feel like the texture would have been SO much better had I not done the egg wash - or if I had done the egg wash before the 2nd rise.

But overall this is a very quick and easy recipe - and a great excuse to bust out your breadmaker!

Ingredients
Adapted from Allrecipes.com

4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I used bread flour)
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 1/3 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons cornmeal

Directions

Place flour, brown sugar, warm water, salt, olive oil and yeast in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough cycle; press Start.


Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Form dough into two loaves. Place the loaves seam side down on a large cookie sheet lined with parchment and generously sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover the loaves with a damp cloth and let rise, until doubled in volume about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).


In a small bowl, beat together egg and 1 tablespoon water. Brush the risen loaves with egg mixture. Make a single long, quick cut down the center of the loaves with a sharp knife.
(I would omit these steps next time based on this making my loaves deflating).

Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until loaves sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

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