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“I'm pretty sure this is another of the recipes I copied down years ago while watching Marianne Esposito on Ciao Italia. I use my mixer to do the kneading. Note - some mixers knead more thoroughly than others and you may not need to knead the bread as long. For example my mixers instructions tell me that I should cut the knead time in half on recipes. This is a wonderful rustic bread! Prep time does not include rest or rise time.”
READY IN:
1hr 25mins
SERVES:
12
YIELD:
1 loaf
UNITS:
US

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. To make starter - 1-3 days before baking bread, mix water and yeast but do not stir. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. Add flour and mix 5 minutes or so with your hand. Cover with plastic and set aside in a warm place to proof until you are ready to make the bread.
  2. To make bread - In a large bowl add yeast to 1/4 c warm water and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Add remaining water. Mix in starter until well dissolved. Add flour, starting with 3 1/2 cups adding 1/2 c more at a time as needed. You want dough to be well held together and you should be able to knead it.
  3. Place on well floured board and knead it for 5-10 minutes, until round, smooth and elastic.
  4. Pour a bit of olive oil in a large bowl and place dough in bowl and coat it, kneading in a bit of the oil as you go. Cover with a towel and set aside in a warm place to rise at least 2 hours.
  5. Place dough on a floured board and knead 5-10 minutes. Shape into loaf of your choice. Place on baking sheet covered with cornmeal. Cover and let rise again, until smooth and doubled.
  6. Bake 25-30 minutes at 400 degrees or bake on a stone for 30-35 minutes at 450 degrees.

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