Refrigerator Italian Bread

Refrigerator Italian Bread

5½ or 6 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tb. sugar
2 tsp. salt
4½ tsp. active dry yeast
1 Tb. butter, softened
1¾ cups very warm water (120°-130°F)
cornmeal
oil (light olive)
1 egg white
1 Tb. cold water

In large bowl thoroughly mix 1½ cups flour, sugar, salt and undissolved yeast. Add butter. Gradually  add warm water to dry ingredients and beat 2 minutes with mixer at medium speed, scraping bowl  occasionally. Add ¾ cup flour. Beat at high speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in enough additional flour to make a stiff dough. Turn dough onto a lightly floured board and knead until smooth and elastic (about 8-10 minutes). (If you are using a Bosch mixer, this technique may not  work. If that is the case, mix the dough as you normally would.) Cover dough with plastic wrap and then a towel and let it rest for 20 minutes.

To make loaves: Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a 15x10 inch rectangle. Starting at wide side, roll up tightly; pinch seam to seal. Taper ends by rolling gently back and forth.

To make rolls: Divide dough into 6 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rectangle 8x5 inches. Starting with wide side, roll up tightly; pinch seam to seal. Taper ends. Place the shaped dough seam side down on greased baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal.

Brush dough with oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2-8 hours. When ready to bake, remove from refrigerator and uncover carefully. Let dough stand at room temperature for 10 minutes while oven is preheating. Make 3 or 4 diagonal slits in dough with a sharp knife or razor blade. Brush with egg white beaten with cold water. Bake at 425°F for 15-20 minutes for rolls, 20-30 minutes for loaves.

Becky's Note: When making bread, I usually stick to my 3 standard bread recipes that work for me.  Once in awhile I love to try a new bread.  This recipe was unusual in that you add flour until you have a stiff dough.  I was a little apprehensive about the bread, but it turned out lovely--dense, crusty, and a little chewy--a perfect Italian Bread!

Comments

  1. I love this recipe. I knead the dough, using my Bosch mixer, for 10 minutes. I am too lazy to brush the dough with an egg wash, but I am sure it gives it a nice crust.

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