Sunday, May 21, 2006

Foolproof Italian Bread

For whatever reason, when baking bread is mentioned, so many people are simply not confident enough to make or bake it. Your worries are over!! If you have a stand mixer with bread hooks, you CAN make this bread with total confidence!! If you follow the simple directions given here, you will be suddenly known as a 'bread master. If you have been putting off baking bread, no need to put it off any longer; success is on the way.

6 to 6 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 T. sugar
2 TBS instant yeast
2 tsp. sea salt
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup milk
2 TBS softened butter

Makes 2-Loaves or a half dozen hoagie rolls.

In large bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Heat water, milk and butter to about 120 degrees. Gradually add to the dough ingredients; beat 2 minutes at medium speed. Add 1/2 cup flour; beat two minutes at high speed. Change beaters to the dough hooks. Add additional flour to make soft dough. Add additional water if necessary. When dough is ready it will pull away from the sides of the bowl. Place in lightly greased bowl, turn several times to completely coat the dough, cover with plastic wrap, and let raise to double in size.

Punch dough down and shape as desired. Let rise until 1 ½ times original size. Score the dough horizontally one time, or across the loaves several times on each loaf.

Bake at 375F. for about 20 minutes.

This dough freezes well and rises nicely after thawing and shaping.

Can use this recipe for hamburger-shaped rolls too.