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Classic Italian Crusty Bread

Classic Italian Crusty Bread

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READY IN 2 1/2 hours
PREP TIME 10 minutes
COOK TIME 35 minutes
SERVINGS 2 loaves

Crusty bread always intrigues me it gives that lovely old fashioned feeling, like going back to ancient times for a while just by the looks of it.

But how do these bakers do it, with love for the product, skill and procedures handed over from generation to generation sometimes centuries old.

The more bread you make the better you get at it, the feel of the dough, quality of the ingredients and so on, in today’s scientific world there are many studies about the gluten and protein content of flour, very interesting to note but why do these old fashioned bakers still choose to use unbleached flour and raw salt instead of refined salt.

I guess that will remain a mystery and individual choice, fact is they make great bread and we love it.

Key to baking good bread is the oven, some hundreds of year’s old, wood fired and with stone floors. Stone floors are important whether made from Burgundy clay or some other secret clay origin, this gives this special “extra” to the bread that makes us go back for more. 

Bread is one of the five staples we know that has such a neutral taste that you can eat it every day. This is quite amazing for a product that has been invented so many years ago.

How can water, flour and yeast appeal to almost everybody around the globe?

Well that crunchy crust, outlook and the passion and love of the baker for his profession plays the key role here.

Here is an easy to make recipe to get you going 


Ingredients

  • • 1 Pkt Dry yeast
  • • 1 ¼ Cup Water (40 C)
  • • 3 ½ Cups Bread flour (or unbleached flour)
  • • ¼ Cup Cornmeal or whole meal flour
  • • 1 Tsp Coarse Salt (should be 2% of the dough weight)
  • • 2 Tsp Sugar
  • • 1 Tbsp Olive oil
  • • Rice flour

Directions

  • 11. Place flour, yeast, corn meal salt and sugar in a food processor, pulse for 5 seconds
  • 22. Add oil and water, blend until a smooth dough, dough should come of the sides of the food processor, approx 1 minute.
  • 33. Take the dough from the food processor and place on a light floured surface.
  • 44. Kneed into a ball, place in a bowl and cover with cling wrap, let the dough rise for about an hour or double the size.
  • 55. Take the dough from the bowl Press some of the air, not all, to keep the holes in the baked bread characteristic to crusty bread.
  • 66. Portion the dough and form into desired shape, (rolls, bun or loaves shape)
  • 77. Place on a baking tray, dust with rice flour
  • 88. Rise for another 30 minutes and bake at 220 C for 35 minutes

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