We are all getting back to basics in the kitchen, and bread making is now a priority. With a few pantry staples, you can make your own delicious Italian bread at home. This recipe yields 4 baguettes or 2 loaves of bread, and uses metric measurements since it is European. Bring the “Panetteria” to you right here in America!
Crunchy Italian Bread
Enjoy the fresh aroma of homemade bread wafting throughout the house as you bake your very own bread with simple pantry ingredients.
- 500 gr. bread flour (no substitutions)
- 375 ml. warm (110°) water
- 7 gr. active dry yeast
- 2 tsp. salt
- Dissolve the yeast in a bowl with the water, and let it sit undisturbed for 10 minutes covered.
- Gently add in the flour and salt, kneading with floured hands for approximately 5 minutes and form into 1 large dough ball.
- Let the dough rest, covered with wrap either overnight in the refrigerator, or in a quiet/warm place for 2-3 hours until it reaches the top of the bowl (doubled in size).
- Uncover, turn the bowl on its side, and help the dough to slowly drop onto a floured surface. You can help it along by scraping the sides of the bowl with a floured dough squeegee (or with your floured hand). The dough will be gooey, sticky and bubbly.
- Transfer the dough to a floured surface, and divide into 4 small or 2 large dough balls. Let them rest for 15 minutes, covered with wrap and a moist towel.
- Uncover and with floured hands, gently shape the dough into the desired loaves on a piece of parchment paper, leaving space between the loaves. Dust the top and under the bottom with a bit more flour and allow them to rest again under the wrap and moist towel for 1 hour. This is the final rising.
- Preheat the oven to 450°. A few minutes before the dough is ready to bake, half-fill a small pan with boiling water and place it on a bottom rack of the oven. Heat up the baking pan or bread stone that will be used for baking the bread in the oven for at least 20 minutes.
- Pull out the rack along with the hot pan/stone so you can place the parchment and loaves on it.
- Place the loaves in the center of the preheated oven and set the timer for 20 minutes. Half way through, you can remove the parchment so the bottom toasts better.
- The bread is ready when it has a toasted golden brown top and bottom.