Kittencal's Italian-Style Bread

READY IN: 2hrs 17mins
YIELD: 2 loaves




  • Prepare a heavy-duty stand mixer with the kneading attachment.
  • Pour in 2-1/2 cups flour, cornmeal, 2 teaspoons sugar, olive oil and salt into the stainless steel mixing bowl.
  • In a measuring cup proof the yeast with 1-1/4 cups warm water and 1 teaspoon sugar for about 8-10 minutes or until foamy.
  • Pour the water/yeast mixture into the bowl with the flour mixture in it, then start kneading adding in more flour 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough leaves the sides of the bowl, and dough is soft and smooth not sticky and wet (kneading should take about 6-8 minutes).
  • Transfer the dough into an oiled bowl.
  • Cover and let rise in a warm place for about 45-50 minutes, or until doubled (watch the dough closely since you are using a smaller amount of flour, and using 3 teaspoons of yeast, the dough rises a little quicker!).
  • Punch down; cover and let rest for about 10-12 minutes in the bowl (this is important, the dough must rest for 10-12 minutes after punching down and before shaping!).
  • Transfer the dough onto a lightly-floured surface and evenly divide in half.
  • Shape each half into a thin 10-12-inch long loaf (or you can shape in one thicker shorter loaf if desired).
  • Place the shaped loaves onto a 15 x 10-inch baking sheet that has been lighly greased and then sprinkled with about 2 tablespoons cornmeal.
  • Cover with a clean tea towel and let rise for about 25-30 minutes.
  • Spray the tops of the bread with cooking spray (I use Pam olive oil spray for this).
  • Bake at 400°F for about 20-22 minutes for 2 small long loaves, or until golden brown (adjust baking time longer for 1 large loaf).
  • Cool on a wire rack.