Prep 2 hrs
Cook 30 mins
My mother-in-law showed me how to make this bread before her son and I were married. She learned it from her mother-in-law who was an immigrant from Sicily. Our family tradition is to have this bread on Christmas Eve. We take a slice of bread and put olive oil, salt and pepper on it and eat it. We also cook homemade Italian sausage and wrap it in a slice of Nannie's bread.
- 8 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 1⁄2 tablespoons honey
- 4 cups warm water
- 1.5 (1/3 ounce) packages fast rising yeast
- 4 teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Mix flour, yeast and salt.
- Dissolve honey in one cup warm water.
- Add two cups warm water and olive oil to honey mixture.
- Add liquid to dry ingredients and mix by hand or KitchenAid mixer using dough hook.
- Knead dough about 5 minutes. Place in bowl with a little olive oil in the bottom. Turn dough to coat with oil. Place in warm, draft free area to rise(about 50 min).
- Take dough out of bowl and knead a second time about 2 min on a floured surface. Place back in bowl, turning dough to coat with oil. Let rise a second time(about 30 min).
- Knead third time - gently about 2 minute
- Divide dough into four parts. Smear butter on work surface. Knead each dough ball with fingertips on buttered surface. Each ball of dough should be rolled up like a jellyroll. I add butter to the work surface as needed.
- Place dough into greased pans. We use PAM to grease the pans.
- Let dough rise again about 30 minutes. I always cover the loaves with a dish cloth while they rise.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minute Lower to 300 degrees and bake 10 minute longer.
- Brush tops of loaves with slightly beaten egg whites.
A good solid Italian bread. It makes a bunch at one time, and I would recommend freesing the dough in loaves at step 9 for OAMC, then thaw and continue as written. Pre-baked frozezn is okay, but all bread loses something in the freezer so I would say freeze the baked bread as a last resort. My usual recipe doesn't use honey and this seemed to add a slightly different sweetness to the bread than my usual sugar. Could it be because I used wilflower honey? In any case it was tasty!
We enjoyed this bread a lot. I had originally planned to cut the recipe in half. I am so glad I didn't because I shared the other loaves with friends. They loved it too. Reviewed for PAC Spring 2008