Posted on | May 31, 2010 | 2 Comments
I made this bread to go along with the from-scratch spaghetti sauce. I always buy Italian bread and sliced garlic bread, and I wondered if I could make my own. This bread was AMAZING! Jason gave it five stars and Andrew gave it ten. It was dense but soft and half the loaf disappeared before I could even get dinner on the table. This recipe makes two loaves, which is nice, because I can freeze one for next time. You can make rolls with this dough also, and I included the instructions for that with the recipe. This is definitely one that I will add to my favorite recipes to make over and over again. I caught Matthew (my two-year old) in the kitchen stealing the end off of the second loaf after dinner, if that tells you anything.
4 1/2-5 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
5 teaspoons active dry yeast (2 packages )
1 tablespoon butter or margarine, softened
1 3/4 cups very warm water (120 -130 F)
peanut oil or light olive oil
1 egg white
1 tablespoon cold water
In large bowl, mix 1 1/2 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Add butter. Gradually add warm water to dry ingredients and beat 2 minutes with mixer at medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Add 3/4 cup flour. Beat at high speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in enough additional flour to make a stiff dough, about 2 ½ more cups. Turn dough onto a lightly floured board and knead until smooth and elastic (about 8-10 minutes). Place dough in an oiled bowl and turn once to coat. Cover dough with plastic wrap and let it rest for 20 minutes.
To make loaves: Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a 15×10 inch rectangle. Starting at wide side, roll up tightly; pinch seam to seal. Taper ends by rolling gently back and forth.
To make rolls: Divide dough into 6 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rectangle 8×5 inches. Starting with wide side, roll up tightly; pinch seam to seal. Taper ends. Place the shaped dough seam side down on greased baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal.
Brush dough with oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 to 24 hours. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Remove dough from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Make diagonal slits in dough with a sharp knife or razor blade. Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes for rolls, 20 minutes for loaves. Remove from oven and brush with egg white beaten with cold water. Return to oven; bake 5 minutes longer, or until golden.
**You can add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon (adjust amounts to your preferences) of dried oregano or basil or rosemary to the dry ingredients. You can also add a bulb of roasted garlic cloves to the dry ingredients. To roast garlic: Peel as much of the outer skin away as possible, leaving the cloves unpeeled and the head intact Trim the tips of the cloves off to expose the”meat” to the oil. Place head in a covered dish or on a piece of heavy aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil, and bake covered at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes to an hour, or until cloves are soft and can be squeezed easily out of their skins. Let roasted garlic cool before adding to the flour for the bread.
**To freeze, double wrap the extra loaf in foil and freeze. Put in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes (or until warm throughout) straight from the freezer and it tastes just as good as the day you made it.
Source: Adapted from Recipezaar