We were invited to our pastor's house for dinner and when I asked if we could bring something, she said, yes, bread.
I get my jollies (as my dad phrases it) out of this kind of assignment: someone else preparing dinner and me selecting and fussing with just one recipe. Fun! So I chose a new Italian bread recipe and I thought it was more fetching than the one I usually make, but still the same yeasted-homemade-bread taste which is good, but is not Italian bread.
But see? Very fetching.
Updated to add for S:
Italian Bread from Recipes from the Old Mill
**note that this bread must be in the fridge for 2-24 hours to rise - this is perfect for the small chunks of time I get to do projects with children in the house! Mix and knead at bedtime for fresh bread for supper the next day!
Combine in large bowl:
1.5 c. unbleached bread flour (updated in March 2011: I use 1.5 c. whole wheat flour for this step)
1 Tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. salt
2 Tbs. dry yeast
Gradually add and stir vigorously.
1 3/4 c. very warm water
Beat 2 minutes by hand.
3/4 c. whole wheat flour
1 Tbs. oil
Beat vigorously for 2 more minutes.
Stir in 2-3 c. unbleached white flour
Knead 8-10 minutes.
Cover with a towel and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
Divide dough in half, rolling into 10x15" rectangles. Beginning at wide side, roll up tightly, pinching seam to seal. Tuck ends under, pinching.
Grease a baking sheet, sprinkle generously with cornmeal, and lay the loaves on it. Brush loaves with oil. Cover with towel and refrigerate for 2-24 hours.
When ready to bake, allow loaves to stand uncovered at room temperature for 10 minutes. With a very sharp knife, make 4 diagonal slashes on each loaf. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with 1 egg beating with a little water; sprinkle sesame seeds if desired. Return to oven and bake 5-10 minutes longer or until FETCHINGLY golden.
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