Prep 30 mins
Cook 35 mins
Posted in response to a request, this recipe comes from "Ciao Italia" by Mary Ann Esposito. She says that this dough can easily be doubled or tripled and it freezes beautifully.She also uses this dough for pizza, breadsticks, and focaccia. Prep time does not include rise time.
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1 3⁄4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 -5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- extra virgin olive oil
- In a large bowl, disolve the yeast in 1/4 c.
- of the warm water.
- Allow the yeast to proof until it is foamy, about 10 minutes.
- Add the remaining 1 1/2 c.
- water and the salt.
- Add the flour 1 c.
- at a time; you may not need all of it.
- Work the mixture until it comes together in a ball.
- Place the dough on a floured work surface and knead it for 5 to 10 minutes, folding the dough over on itself several times, until it is shiny and elastic.
- Grease a bowl generously with olive oil; put the dough in the bowl and turn a few times to coat with the oil.
- Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and place it in a warm place, free from drafts, and let rise for 3 to 4 hours, or until doubled in size.
- The more slowly the dough rises, the tangier the flavor will be.
- Punch the dough down, turn it onto a floured work surface, and knead a few times.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Set a baking stone on the bottom rack to preheat for 30 minutes; or preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- and lightly grease a baking sheet and dust with cornmeal.
- Shape the dough into an oval or a round loaf.
- Place the dough on a baker's peel dusted with cornmeal, if using a baking stone, or on the greased baking sheet.
- Cover with a towel and let rise for 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.
- Cut several parallel slashes about 1/2 in.
- deep in the top of the loaf with a razor blade or make an X with scissors.
- If using a baking stone, sprinkle the preheated stone with cornmeal and carefully slide the bread onto it.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the crust is a golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped with your knuckles.
- If baking on a baking sheet, bake for 35-40 minutes.
- Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.