Monday, August 27, 2012

Crusty Italian Bread Using a Bread Machine

I have some exciting and delicious recipes to share with you on my food tour of Italy - starting with how to make crusty Italian bread! We'll be using at least one of the loaves in a recipe I'll be sharing with you tomorrow.

I'm using a recipe I found HERE. But, I made a big change to Drew's recipe. I didn't mix it by hand. I used a bread machine instead.

As some of you may know, I've decided to continue on and get a 4-year degree in psychology and classes start today. I don't have an aversion to making bread by hand. It can be quite relaxing, in fact. But I'm finding myself a little short on time at the beginning of a new school year and a new school.

The ingredient measurements in this recipe for Crusty Italian Bread are perfect. I didn't have to adjust anything. I followed the instructions exactly as written, but instead of mixing in a bowl by hand, I used a machine. You can certainly mix by hand, if you prefer. Here are the steps I took using a bread machine:

Crusty Italian Bread

  1. visit the site above to get the bread recipe!
  2. mix the yeast with 1/4 cup warm water; let stand until bubbly - about 10 minutes
  3. add the remaining water to the yeast mixture and pour into the pan of the bread machine
  4. add the sugar and salt to the yeast/water mixture
  5. add all of the flour - I used bread flour instead of all-purpose flour
  6. set the machine cycle to "dough" and started the bread machine
  7. once the flour has been incorporated into the water, add the olive oil
  8. double-check the consistency of the dough - you want it to be slightly tacky, but not sticky or dry
  9. leave the machine to continue through the cycle
  10. remove the dough from the pan and shape according to the instructions shown HERE (scroll down); I placed the loaves on a parchment-lined baking sheet instead of using the peel method
  11. cover the loaves with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes
  12. place a small pan (cake pan) on the bottom rack of oven; preheat oven to 425° F
  13. cut each loaf down the middle with a very sharp blade just before baking
  14. pour a cup of hot water into the pan on the bottom rack taking care to avoid the steam; bake for 10 minutes at 425° F, reduce temperature to 400° F and bake for another 25-30 minutes (the loaves should sound hollow when tapped)

Enjoy the bread with some flavored dipping oil. You can find a really good recipe HERE. Be sure to save at least one loaf for tomorrow's recipe!


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  1. I love bread machine! :)
    This recipe sounds great and the loafs... oh.. so ymmy!

    1. Hello! Thank you so much for coming by! The bread turned out wonderfully in the bread machine - even though I didn't follow the bread machine "rules" in the order of ingredients. I hope you try this bread. The crust is chewy and crisp (if you use the steam method) and the crumb is so soft. We loved it!

  2. I just made this bread and it turned out beautifully. It will go perfectly with my pasta and homemade sauce tonight. I will definitely be keeping this recipe on hand for future meals as well!

    1. Thank you so much for trying this recipe and letting me know it turned out so well for you! The pasta and homemade sauce sounds fantastic!!


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