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Breads
 
Garrett's Italian Bread
There's nothing like fresh bread baking on a cold winter day. And that's the way it was for Gary's first attempt at a loaf of Italian Bread. And boy is it good!
 
Preparation Time: 3 ½ - 4 hours
Makes 2 bread loafs
Garrett's Italian Bread Loaf
You'll need:
  • Greased cookie sheet
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Electronic Mixer
  • Basting brush
  • Candy Thermometer
  • Small Sauce Pan
  • 2 Clean Hand-towels
 
Ingredients:
Dough:
  • 7½ c Flour
  • 2 packages dry yeast
  • 3 c warm milk (110°)
  • 1 tblspn salt
  • 1 egg yoke
  • Yellow cornmeal
 
Directions:
  • In a large mixing bowl combine 3 cups of the flour and the yeast.
  • Warm 3 cups of milk and add salt.
  • Stir in wet mixture into the large mixing bowl with flour and yeast.
  • Beat at low speed with electric mixer for 30 seconds. scraping sides of bowl constantly.
  • Once mix is thoroughly combined, beat at high speed for 3 minutes.
  • By hand, stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a very stiff dough.
  • Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead till smooth and very elastic (about 15 minutes).
  • Shape into a ball.
  • Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to create surface.
  • Cover and let dough rise in a warm place till it doubles in size (about 1½ hours).
    Rolled Dough and Aidan's Loaf
  • Punch dough down; turn out onto lightly floured surface (best turned out on a cotton sheet lightly floured).
  • Divide dough in ½ and set one half aside.
  • Roll out half of dough to a 15x12 inch rectangle.
  • Beginning along the long side, roll dough up tightly, sealing well as you roll.
  • Taper ends of loaf.
  • (repeat this step for the 2nd half that you set aside.
  • Lightly grease 2 baking sheets and sprinkle lightly with cornmeal.
  • Place each loaf diagonally, (one on each sheet), seam side down.
  • Lightly cut diagonal slices into the top of bread loafs (about 2½ inches apart and ¼ inch down).
  • Cover loaves with clean hand towels and let dough rise in a warm place till they double in size (about 60 minutes).
    Aidan's Baked Loaf
  • When ready, place large shallow pan on lower rack of oven and fill with boiling water.
  • Add 1 tblspn water to egg white; brush over top and sides of loaves.
  • Bake at 375° for about 20 minutes.
  • Brush again with egg white mixture.
  • Back about 20 minutes longer.
  • Cool on wire racks.
     
  • Serve warm with butter and your favorite jelly or jam.
 
* If the dough doesn't rise after 1 ½ hours, something went wrong and it won't rise at all. Go ahead and make the rolls, but they'll be thick and heavy instead of light and fluffy.
Alternatives:
  • To make a lighter loaf, use water instead of milk
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