Monday, February 15, 2010

Italian Peasant Bread

We love bread in our family. I am continuously trying to look for new recipes. This particular bread was suggested to go with a Tuscan Bean Soup we made a few days ago (I'll post it soon!!), so I decided to try it. It was good comforting bread.


1 pkg. dry yeast
2 c. lukewarm water (105 to 110 degrees)
3 3/4 c. flour, divided
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt (I personally thought the bread was under seasoned, I will double this amount next time I'll make it)
Melted butter for brushing risen loaf


Sprinkle yeast over lukewarm water in a small bowl and stir to dissolve. Mix 3 1/2 cups of the flour, whole wheat flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Stir in yeast-and-water mix thoroughly with a large spoon. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes, adding only enough of the remaining 1/4 cup flour to keep the dough from sticking, until smooth and springy. Shape the dough into a round loaf. Set loaf on a lightly floured baking sheet. Cover with
a clean dish towel and let rise in a warm place, out of drafts, for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Gently brush risen dough with melted butter. Wait for a minute or two and sprinkle lightly with flour. With a new, single-edge razor blade or the tip of a very sharp knife, make 3 or 4 long, shallow cuts in the top of the loaf in one direction; repeat in opposite direction to form a "checkerboard."

Bake for 10 minutes. Lower to heat to 400 degrees and continue to bake for about 20 minutes, or until bread is lightly browned and sounds hollow when the bottom or sides are tapped.


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