Homemade Italian Bread

I made homemade bread for the first time last night. It was delicious! I’ll post the recipe for those of you who want to try it.

It’s found at allrecipes.com and is called Mama D’s Italian Bread. I adjusted the recipe a tad.

Ingredients:
3 cups warm water
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon italian seasoning
7 cups all purpose flour

Directions:
1. Add the sugar to warm water (make sure it’s warm, not hot!) and whisk until the sugar dissolves. Whisk in the yeast well and let sit about 10 minutes. This is called “proofing”. The yeast mixture should start to bubble and foam a bit. If it doesn’t, throw it out and try again.

2. Stir in 4 cups of flour and beat until smooth. Cover and let sit 15 minutes.

3. Beat in the salt and italian seasoning and add enough flour to make a stiff dough. I ended up adding 4 cups to total 8 cups of flour. It all depends on the humidity, but you want the dough to be stiff.

4. Knead on a floured surface until soft and smooth, at least 10 minutes. Add more flour if needed. I added about a cup during this stage. Turn in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise. You want it in a warm but not hot place. I turned the light on in the oven and let it rise there. My mom has let bread rise in the car if it’s sitting in the sun. It took about 1-1/2 to rise.

5. Once doubled, punch down and divide into three. Place back in bowl, cover, and let rise again.

6. Once doubled again, punch down and form into three oval loaves. Place on cookie sheets that have been greased and sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover and let rise.

7. Once risen, mist with water and place in a preheated 350 degree oven. Mist every 3 minutes for 10 minutes. This keeps the crust from getting too crisp.

8. Bread is done when golden and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. It took mine about 25 minutes to bake.

Garlic Butter

I made this to spread on the bread and it was SOOO good. Way better than plain garlic bread.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic (I used fresh)
1/8 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon paprika

Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to serve. It’s best if it comes close to room temperature before trying to spread.

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