Crusty Italian Bread

This makes beautiful, crusty bread with a crisp crust and a warm, soft interior. It’s as good as anything you’ll ever get from any bakery.

Give it a try and you’ll never go back to buying bread.

Ingredients:
710g (710ml) Water, room temperature. If your water has a smell or a taste, use filtered or bottled.
5g Sugar
4g Instant Yeast
1,000g Unbleached, unenriched bread flour.
22 g Kosher Salt
Corn Meal
Equipment:
Scale, Thermometer,
Dough Mixer, Pizza Steel or Stone, 4 Quart Plastic Bucket w/Lid
Crusty Loaf of amazing, home-made Italian Bread

Crusty Loaf of amazing, home-made Italian Bread

Interior

Interior

 

  • Add the the water, sugar & yeast to the dough mixer bowl and whisk (by hand) until dissolved. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  • Put the dough hook on the mixer, add about half the flour and start the mixer on slow.
  • Once the ingredients have been mixed, add the salt. You need to add the salt after the yeast/water has been mixed into the dough, since the salt retards the action of the yeast.
  • Increase speed to medium
  • Add the rest of the flour now.
  • Keep kneading for another 5 minutes then transfer to 4 Quart plastic bucket with a snap-on lid, and let rise in a cool place (about 50°–60°) for 12 hours, or until doubled in size.
  • When doubled, reach into the bucket, grab one side of the dough, give it a quick pull until it’s about 3x the length it was, and fold it over. Rotate 90° and repeat until you have done this 4 times.
  • Let rise again until double.
  • Generously flour a cutting board and dump all the dough from the bucket onto the board. Cut dough into two pieces, form each piece into a loaf shape and place on a pizza peel dusted with corn meal for the final rise, dust with a little cornmeal and cover with plastic wrap.
  • Put pizza stone or baking steel into the oven and preheat to 425°F for at least an hour.
  • Once it’s almost doubled in size, slide each loaf into the oven and make some slashes across the top with a very sharp knife, lame or razor blade. The slashes allow the bread to expand in the oven.
  • Add 2 cups of hot water to small pan and place on the bottom of your oven.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown and sounds hollow when thumped.

Makes (2) large loaves of bread