A crusty Italian bread recipe for home baking days.
I’m back blogging :-), and I’m making an Italian bread recipe, a way to firmly go back to basics, I need stability these days…
It’s been a while since last post, but for many good reasons:
- Vacations (Puglia and Tuscany)
- The Fall Issue of the Gourmet Mag (there’s Christmas too, so imagine me baking cookies in plain July!)
- Planning of a Food Education Course for kids that will be held next year (hopefully, “incrociamo le dita” – let’s cross fingers)
- And a few more projects…
It’s a never ending story.
So where were we?
Yes, at the How to Project and the Italian bread recipe
But what are you going to have before that?
Bruschetta? For a nice start? Sure, but you need good crusty Italian bread (the so called pane casareccio). And the best way to go is with a homemade Italian bread recipe.
And I’m here to help :-).
the bread recipe
I found the perfect rustic Italian bread recipe, and the perfect tool (not propaedeutic but useful).
The dough is a little hard-working, and you need time for leaven, as for any Italian bread recipe (except for piadina).
But it’s worth the effort. Especially if you use a stand mixer.
As for the tools, I absolutely love my new bread cloche, it’s like having a traditional oven inside my modern oven. If you’re a kitchen gadget maniac as I am, and willing to buy something you won’t regret in a few months (oh that bread machine :-(), you can buy it on Amazon, here’s my affiliate link (which means I get a little fee, let’s say a coffee).
Ingredients are for a 2-4 people loaf, or “pagnotta” as we call it here in Italy.
- 250 gr (8.8 oz) of 0 (or Manitoba flour), check the equivalents here
- 8 gr (0.3 oz) of sea salt (I use pink Himalayan)
- 8 gr (0.3 oz) of confectionary sugar
- 5 gr (0.2 oz) of dried yeast
- 250 gr (8.8 oz) of warm water (you’ll probably use less, it depends on the flour quality)
- 2 tablespoons of cow milk
- Day 1
- In the stand mixer bowl (dough hook on) mix flour, salt, sugar, and yeast. Add the water, a tablespoon at the time u4ntil you get a ball that sticks to the hook (keep speed medium/low). You should aim for an elastic, sticky dough.
- Cover dough with a kitchen cloth and let rise 1.5 hours in a warm, sheltered spot of the house (when winter I place it near the radiator).
- Work the dough with your hands for a few minutes. Place it in a bowl, cover it with plastic and refrigerate overnight (at least 12 hours).
- Day 2
- Take the dough out of the fridge and work it with your hands, folding it over itself more than a couple of times. Finally, form a ball and place it on a floured oven tray (or the base of the bread cloche).
- Carve a cross on the top with a sharp knife.
- Cover it with a bowl and let rise 1.5 hours.
- Brush a little milk over the surface of the dough and sprinkle some flour all over it.
- Place the tray in the room temperature oven and bring temperature to 240°C. When you get to that temperature bake 20-30 minutes until you get a light brown-golden crust.
Ready to be devoured! Don’t forget the cheese, the olive oil, and prosciutto!