22 March 2011

Italian Bread at Home....

So the other week, I asked my husband if he wanted to try this Italian Country loaves recipe that I found in a old magazine, which I had saved for all the recipes that were in it. My husband's the bread guy in our family he makes such delicious breads. I'm still nervous myself to make bread, but I'm thankful he likes to do it. *happy smiles*

So we tried the recipe and it came out really good! We were surprised that it really wasn't that hard of a recipe. It was just very time consuming. But it's really good dipping bread, like the kind you get at an Italian restaurant with the olive oil. Also, this recipe makes two big loaves. So you can always share with a friend!

Hope you all like the bread! Enjoy!

Italian Country Loaves
(From the Better Homes and Gardens – Holiday Cooking 1997)
Makes two loaves.


1 cup warm water (105 degrees to 115 degrees)
1 package active dry yeast
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon sugar
1 ¾ cups warm water (105degrees to 115 degrees)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon snipped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dries rosemary, crushed
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons salt
7 to 7 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Fresh rosemary sprigs (optional)
Olive oil (optional)


Stir together the 1 cup warm water and the yeast in a large mixing bowl. Let stand about 3 minutes or till mixture looks creamy. Stir in the 2 cups flour, ¼ cup at a time; the milk; and sugar. Cover and set in a warm place for 4 to 24 hours or in the refrigerator up to 4 days.

Beat the 1 ¾ cups warm water, 1/3 cup olive oil, rosemary, garlic, and salt into the yeast mixture with a freestanding electric mixer on low speed or with a wooden spoon. Beat in as much of the 7 to 7 ½ cups flour as you can.

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total). Shape dough into a ball. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease surface. Cover and let rise in a warm place till double (2 to 3 hours).

Punch down dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a round loaf, pulling the top surfaces tight and pinching any seams together under the loaves. Place on a large greased baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal (or on parchment paper, if using a bread stone). Cover and let rise till nearly double (about 1 hour).

Adjust two oven racks so one is in the lowest position and the other is in the middle of the oven. Heat oven to 400 degrees. If using a bread stone, place it on the middle and preheat stone for 30 minutes. Rub loaves lightly with flour. With a sharp knife or clean razor blade, cut a crisscross design atop each loaf, about ¼ inch deep. If desired, brush rosemary sprigs with olive oil, and place on top of loaves.

Images from Me; Recipe from Better Homes and Gardens - Holiday Cooking 1997

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