Prep 30 mins
Cook 35 mins
Posted in response to a request, this recipe comes from "Preserving Our Italian Heritage", a cookbook from The Sons of Italy Florida Foundation. The recipe was submitted by a man who, as a 10 year old boy, helped his mother knead and bake 50 lbs. of flour twice each week! He bakes the loaves on marble slabs that fit his oven and says "it bakes golden brown with a full crispy crust just like an old fashioned stone oven". Prep time does not include rising time.
- Sprinkle yeast and sugar into 4 cups of warm water.
- Pour 5 lbs of flour into a 12-14 quart pot.
- When yeast bubbles up, add to flour with 3 additional cups of water, mixing in flour with a kneading motion.
- If a little sticky, add additional flour, 1/2 cup at a time.
- After completely kneaded into a dough, rub entire dough with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil.
- Set in a warm place to rise, covered, for 2- 2 1/2 hours, until doubled in bulk.
- After dough has risen, place on a floured surface and divide into four loaves.
- If dough is sticky, sprinkle some flour on your hands.
- Do not handle dough too much.
- Shape dough into 4 round loaves and cover.
- Let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
- Bake on either bread stones or cookie sheets that have been greased and sprinkled with cornmeal in a preheated 400° oven till a golden brown, about 30-35 minutes.
- The loaf should have a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom with your knuckles.