Italian Bread

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Making Italian bread (or any bread really) is much easier than most people think.  This recipe makes 3 nice size loaves.  The bread has a nice crust and soft center with great flavor.  It also holds up well if you freeze it for later use. (pictures at the bottom)

Ingredients:

3 cups of warm water

1 full Tablespoon dry active yeast (if you have packets use a packet and a half)

1 1/2 tsp. white sugar

2 tsp. salt

8 cups of all purpose flour (I used unbleached flour or you can use half white and half wheat)

Mix the water, sugar and yeast in a large bowl until dissolved and let sit for 10 minutes to proof.

Stir in 4 cups of the flour and mix it until smooth and set it aside for approximately 15 minutes.

Add 2 cups of flour and the salt and mix again.  Add more flour 1/2 cup at a time to form a stiff dough and pour out onto a floured surface.  Knead the dough adding flour lightly as needed until the dough is smooth and elastic (it should spring back when you press two fingers into it).

Put into a greased bowl and in a warm spot to rise approximately 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

Punch the dough down, turn out onto a floured surface and lightly knead for a minuted then place back in the greased bowl to rise again for 30 minutes.

Spray a cookie sheet lightly and sprinkle cornmeal over the sheet

After 30 minutes, punch the dough down again and separate into 3 pieces, forming them into a loaf (a football type shape) and place on the cookie sheet

Set back into a warm spot and let rise about 25 minutes or until correct loaf size.

I brush them lightly with water and place them in a 450 degree preheated oven and bake approximately 30 minutes (turning the pan after 15 minutes and sprinkle a bit of water again on top) and bake until the tops are lightly browned and they sound hollow when you tap on them.

It’s ok if they touch when baking as you can cut them apart.

Your family will LOVE this super easy bread.  My niece and daughter grabbed the first slices as soon as the loaves were cool enough to handle!

 

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Homemade Bread

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The boy and his classmates were asked to provide a loaf of bread to our local Golden Age Center (seniors center).  The school provided all of the ingredients and instructions which was enough for 2 loaves (one to donate and one for our family).  I let the kids make it together.

It was a simple recipe, a bit different from our regular recipe, but it was very good.  You can see how we made the bread on my facebook page here:  Homemade Bread

Greek Yogurt Bread

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You have to like the sourness of Greek Yogurt to like this bread.  It was a great bread fresh out of the oven for breakfast as well as warmed up for dinner with a salad and turkey tenderloin.

Friends of mine posted this on their facebook page and it’s so simple with only 3 ingredients (2 if you don’t want the outside coated in cornmeal).  I had to try it.

This week I am going to try it with peach or cherry flavored yogurt and a glaze to see how it is as a sweet bread.  Will post more on that later.

You can see more pictures of how simple this was to make on my Facebook page:  Greek Yogurt Bread