Homemade Italian Bread (episode #30)



  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant dry yeast
  • 1 cup water (room temp)
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon instant dry yeast
  • one and 1/3 cup water (room temp)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
    Wash and topping:
  • 1/4 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • sesame seeds
  • cornmeal


  • The day before make the starter batch, it’s quick and easy, but it creates the bread’s flavor so don’t rush it.
  • combine all ingredients in a medium to a large bowl, and knead for a few minutes, forming a shaggy dough.
  • coat the inside of the bowl with cooking spray (Pam); this makes things easier later on.
  • Cover tightly with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let sit overnight for 16 to 24 hours at room temp.
  • Combine the flour, water, and yeast in a mixing bowl.
  • Mix for 3-4 minutes and cover dough loosely with a towel; let the dough rest for 20 minutes at room temperature.
  • coat a glass or plastic bowl with cooking spray prior to putting the dough back in it.
  • After 20 minutes, sprinkle one of the two teaspoons of table salt over the dough
  • Add the starter to the dough by using a spatula to help remove the starter.
  • Mix or knead for another 3 to 4 minutes to thoroughly mix the salt and the starter into the dough
  • Then add the other teaspoon of salt to the dough and continue to knead it for another 3-4 minutes.  Make sure the dough, the starter, and the salt are thoroughly combined
  • coat a larger glass or plastic bowl with cooking spray and place your dough in it and tightly cover with plastic wrap.
  • Let the dough rise for an hour at room temperature.  Then remove the plastic wrap and gently fold one side of the dough to the other, fold the top to the bottom.
  • Do NOT punch down the dough, but rather carefully fold it upon itself.  Recover tightly with plastic wrap – and repeat this process twice for a total of 3 hours of rising.
  • Flour your work surface and follow the video to braid your bread
  • Transfer the two loaves onto Parchment paper which you previously sprinkled cornmeal
  • Cover the loaves loosely with plastic wrap and let rise one hour
  • (pre-heat your oven to 500°F at least an hour before) place a tray with water in the rack under the baking stone
  • Bake for 10 minutes at 500°F then remove the parchment paper carefully turn loaves 180°
  • lower heat to 400°F then Bake for another 20 to 30 minutes until loaves are a deep golden brown.  Tap the loaves on their bottom and if they are done they will sound hollow.
  • remove the loaves to a wire rack to let cool.
  • Enjoy!
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