This is a basic Italian bread. Just flour, yeast, sugar, salt and water in the right proportions make this bread a winner. It makes three loaves, so you can freeze some or give them away to your friends.
Altered ingredient amounts. I like this recipe but for my restaurant I use 1kg of strong bread flour. Also a little extra flour for kneading. Great texture and keeps well. Next day you can reheat loaves in the oven for 5-8 mins and they are like fresh baked. Sprinkle with coarse seasalt or dried oregano before baking is a great extra. - 10 Sep 2008
Good recipe. As a culinary student I've tried and failed with bread many times before. Here's what I've found that may help some reviewers: 1) Proof your yeast as directed (mixing water, yeast & sugar) -- if it doesn't start bubbling or frothing after 10 min, bin it. Either the yeast is dead (check expiration date) Or you killed it with HOT tap water. 2) Mist the bread with water every 3 min for the first 10 min. Why? This does 3 things. Prevents the crust from forming too fast thus restricting the rising process. It moisens the crust just enough so it doesn't brown/burn at the end of the baking period - you get a golden brown instead of a dark heavy crust. And it finally makes the crust crispier. This is a very important step. It also helps if you have a bowl of water in the oven to increase the humidity. Professional ovens have adjustable humidity controls which add moisture. Why only 10 min? You can mist for longer but you'll end up with a thin white crust instead of golden brown. Once the bread has risen to its full potential (within the 1st 10 min or so depending on the size of the loaf), then you want it to start becoming golden brown. This is my 1st review -- hope this helps. Best of luck! - 14 Jul 2008
I really like this bread I gave it 5 stars for taste but I'm giving it 3 stars for the directions. I found I had to find my own way through the directions, it states cook time 1 hour, I found that 30 min. is plenty. Also regarding step 4, when you separate it and place it back in the bowl to rise once again it becomes one round of dough, so why separate it? The second time I made it I skip the separating part but did punch down and let rise again, then separated it into loaves after the second rising. Now in step 6, where it says to turn occasionally, I just skipped that step all together because I found that step too awkward and as far as "done when golden brown" well after 30 minutes of baking the loaves are closer to dark brown, and I'm only baking it in half the designated time. I really like the taste of this bread and after playing with this recipe several times I now have no problems but I did the first few times I made it. It seems others didn’t have any problems but I did, so for what it’s worth these are just some of the problems I encountered. - 14 Jul 2008