(makes one loaf)
1 cup lukewarm water (110 degrees)
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 packages Fleishman yeast, or 1 cake compressed yeast
3 1/2 to 3 3/4 cups of sifted flour
Pour the lukewarm water over the salt and the granular yeast, or
the crumbled yeast cake. I let the yeast grow at this point then I add
the flour. Add enough flour to make a soft dough - until the dough breaks
away from the side of the bowl and can easily be handled. Turn onto
a floured board and knead until smooth- about 10 minutes and also is
elastic to the touch. Place in a greased bowl, covered with a damp,
warm towel and place in a warm, dark place. I usually put it in the
oven (make sure it is not on). Let rise for about 2 to 2 and a half
Pull out the bread, punch down, and place back in the bowl, letting
it rise until double in bulk for another hour and a half. Now, take
it out of the bowl onto a floured board and let rest for 15 minutes.
Then roll it out at approximately 1/4 inch or thinner in a rectangle.
Like you are going to make a pizza. Then, roll away from you like a
jelly roll, crimping the edges in until it is completely rolled. Place
this on a cookie sheet and let sit for another hour and a half.
Make diagonal slits about 3 1/4 inch long along the top of the bread.
Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 40 minutes brushing every
10 minutes. I have a water bottle sprayer that works mighty fine.
I love the aroma's in my home while baking bread and/or pastries.
Now all you have to do is pull it out, let it cool for 10 - 15 minutes,
and serve with your dinner. This is a great holiday surprise for your
family at the big dinner. Fresh, and I do mean, fresh Italian or French
Style Old World Bread.
Buon appetito! Kieto