Another great bread recipe on the blog today!
Italy has always had a love affair with bread and bread makers....
This recipe, courtesy of Marie Montella looks delicious. Marie's oldest son Sam married our daughter Josephine and from the first time we met Marie she was cooking up a storm. I am sure her husband Pat appreciates her culinary skills.
Marie is quite the cook - and you can always find her in the kitchen whipping up some really good old time recipes as well as exploring new ones that she will share from time to time on her Instagram or Facebook pages. Marie has four children and 12 grandchildren who truly enjoy her cooking!
Let us know by commenting on the blog post - if you have ever made your own bread like Marie.
Grandma's Italian Bread Ingredients:
- 2 1/4 teaspoons of dry yeast
- 3 1/2 cups of warm water
- 8 cups of all purpose flour - divided
- 1 tablespoon of shortening
- 3 teaspoons of salt
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 1 cup of hot water for baking
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in the 3 1/2 cups of warm water.
Add 3 cups of flour and the shortening, salt and sugar.
Beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes, then add the rest of the flour, beating until all flour is incorporated and a sticky dough ball is formed.
Turn out onto a floured surface, putting a little bit more flour on the top to prevent sticking. Allow the dough to rest for 5 minutes before transferring to a well- greased bowl.
Turn the dough over in the bowl once to get it coated. Cover lightly with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for at least two hours.
Punch the dough down. Divide dough in half. On a lightly floured surface and with floured hands, gently form it into a ball and place on a sheet of parchment. Do the same with the second half. Let both loaves rest for 40 minutes.
Place a pizza stone in the oven on the middle shelf. On the lower rack, place the broiler pan or another metal pan. You will use this to hold the water during baking.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. If you do not have a pizza stone, you can also use a rimmed baking sheet turned upside down.
Allow the stone to sit in the oven for 20 minutes at 450 degrees before placing the dough on top of it. If using a baking sheet, only place it into the oven for 10 minutes prior to baking, not the 20 required for the pizza stone.
Lightly dust the top of the first loaf with flour and then, with a sharp knife, score an X into the top.
Place the dough with the parchment onto the pizza stone or upside down baking sheet in the oven. Pour the one cup of water into the broiler pan. Quickly shut the oven door to contain the steam.
Bake for 24-28 minutes, until golden brown. Do the same with the second loaf. The loaves can be tested for doneness by tapping on the bottom. The should sound hollow.
Also make sure you visit Season and Stir to see our lovely Herbs de Provence Boule mix under Pasta and Dry Ingredients - when you are in a hurry but want a nice warm crusty bread like Marie has shared with us.