Just Italian Bread

Recipe by Serah B.
READY IN: 3hrs 10mins
YIELD: 1 loaf
UNITS: US

INGREDIENTS

Nutrition
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DIRECTIONS

  • Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water. Cover and leave in warm place until frothy--approximately 5-10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, sift 3 cups flour with salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the center.
  • Pour yeast/water mixture, Agave, oil, and 1 cup extra water into the well.
  • Using a wooden spoon, stir until mixture is well-combined and forms a rough ball. Turn out onto a lightly-floured surface, and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Add extra flour as necessary to form a smooth ball.
  • Place dough in large, lightly oiled bowl. Brush surface of dough with oil. Cover and leave to rise in warm place for about 1 hour or until well risen.
  • Sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal.
  • Punch down dough and knead for 1 minute. Shape dough into smooth ball and place on prepared baking sheet. Slightly flatten top.
  • Using a sharp knife, slash a criss-cross/checkerboard pattern into the top of the dough. Cover and leave to rise in warm place for about 1 hour or until well risen.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F Place a shallow baking dish containing 2 cups of water in the bottom of the oven to help bread form a hard crust.
  • Brush dough with glaze of water and salt; sprinkle with cornmeal or flour.
  • Bake 35-40 minutes or until base of bread sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack.
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