Author Topic: Italian bread making  (Read 2692 times)

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Online Pandora

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Italian bread making
« on: February 07, 2012, 06:11:32 PM »
We've been making and eating a lot of Italian bread, to the exclusion of almost every other kind.  With the two of us at it, it takes 20 minutes to measure, mix, and clean up, leaving the dough ready for the first rise.  

*As soon as the dough doubles in size, it's punched down, separated into two balls and left to double in size yet again.  Once it does so, I punch it down one last time, form into long loaves and leave it on the baking stone to rise one more time.  Split down the middle, brush on melted butter and bake.  We preheat the oven to 450 and lower to 375 after 5 minutes; two giant loaves of lightish bread with a great crust after about 40 minutes.

1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water - dissolve the yeast in the water and let sit 5 minutes
2 cups warm water with 1 tablespoon salt dissolved in it
6-7 cups flour  (We use King Arthur flour -- unbleached/unbromated)

Start with 5 cups of flour and mix in the rest of the ingredients; add however much flour you need to get the dough out of the bowl and onto a lightly floured board.  Once the dough is smooth and relatively non-sticky, stop kneading; the more you knead, the stickier it will get and the more flour you'll need. Plop into lightly greased bowl (we use butter) for rising.

As an added bonus, if you double the yeast, after letting the dough rise once, you can punch it down, separate and freeze it for baking another time.  Then, just let it defrost and continue the instructions from *after the first rise.

« Last Edit: February 08, 2012, 09:47:25 AM by Pandora »
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Offline LadyVirginia

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Re: Italian bread making
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2012, 06:25:50 PM »
I'm baking french bread right now--pretty much the same thing.

We'll be using it for sub sandwiches.  I empty the fridge onto the counter and everyone can make it just how they like.  I'll probably warm up some meatballs for hubby since he'd rather have a meatball sub than a cold sandwich.

Maybe tomorrow will be italian bread.

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Re: Italian bread making
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2012, 06:33:24 PM »
The smell alone is .......... nomnomnom.

And one o' these days, I will be trying your cinnamon roll recipe.
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Offline LadyVirginia

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Re: Italian bread making
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2012, 06:37:50 PM »
Do you like frosting on your cinn rolls?

I made them over the weekend and the kids voted for frosting.  I can only eat one if frosted--it's so sweet. Not frosted and I can force a second.   ;D
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Online Pandora

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Re: Italian bread making
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2012, 06:44:58 PM »
Do you like frosting on your cinn rolls?

I made them over the weekend and the kids voted for frosting.  I can only eat one if frosted--it's so sweet. Not frosted and I can force a second.   ;D

Not a fan of frosting, as a rule; cake/cupcakes without it are a preference for me. 

Would rather have a little melted butter.  (Not on the cake; on the rolls.)  Or .... have you tried a dab of cream cheese?
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Online AmericanPatriot

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Re: Italian bread making
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2012, 12:31:15 AM »
I glaze them when I make them (cinnamon rolls)

Offline LadyVirginia

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Re: Italian bread making
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2012, 09:41:38 AM »
I usually make the frosting and keep in a jar, letting the kids frost them as they wish. Some are very generous in their portion.   :o

 A little butter is good. :)


Glazing sounds like a good option I'll keep that in mind.

All out of cinnamon and I'm wanting cinn rolls now!

Making the italian bread this morning.
 
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Online John Florida

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Re: Italian bread making
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2012, 11:21:54 PM »
The smell alone is .......... nomnomnom.

And one o' these days, I will be trying your cinnamon roll recipe.

 I  like it hot out of the oven split in half and use extra vigin olive oil all over the inside with a little salt and both red and black pepper and oregano on it.
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Re: Italian bread making
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2012, 11:33:16 PM »
The smell alone is .......... nomnomnom.

And one o' these days, I will be trying your cinnamon roll recipe.

 I  like it hot out of the oven split in half and use extra vigin olive oil all over the inside with a little salt and both red and black pepper and oregano on it.

You're another one of those "I like lotsa food on my food" people, arencha?

I like mine out of the oven, sliced, with a cup of coffee or a glass of milk.

Jeez Leweez.
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Online John Florida

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Re: Italian bread making
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2012, 12:13:49 AM »
The smell alone is .......... nomnomnom.

And one o' these days, I will be trying your cinnamon roll recipe.

 I  like it hot out of the oven split in half and use extra vigin olive oil all over the inside with a little salt and both red and black pepper and oregano on it.

You're another one of those "I like lotsa food on my food" people, arencha?

I like mine out of the oven, sliced, with a cup of coffee or a glass of milk.

Jeez Leweez.


 BORING!  I also like it with cheese on the side,peccorino.
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Re: Italian bread making
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2012, 09:19:35 AM »
The smell alone is .......... nomnomnom.

And one o' these days, I will be trying your cinnamon roll recipe.

 I  like it hot out of the oven split in half and use extra vigin olive oil all over the inside with a little salt and both red and black pepper and oregano on it.

You're another one of those "I like lotsa food on my food" people, arencha?

I like mine out of the oven, sliced, with a cup of coffee or a glass of milk.

Jeez Leweez.


 BORING!  I also like it with cheese on the side,peccorino.

Yes, BORING.  I yam a boring eater/cook.  At least I can taste the bread, and not oil/pepper/salt/oregano/cheese.   ;D
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Offline LadyVirginia

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Re: Italian bread making
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2012, 09:24:24 AM »
What do you think of a little butter on it hot out of the oven, Pan?
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Re: Italian bread making
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2012, 09:33:13 AM »
What do you think of a little butter on it hot out of the oven, Pan?

Sounds good.  It wouldn't make the bread better to me, though.  I guess John's right; I like my comestibles BORINGly plain.

Did you make the bread yesterday?
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Offline LadyVirginia

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Re: Italian bread making
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2012, 10:20:18 AM »
What do you think of a little butter on it hot out of the oven, Pan?

Sounds good.  It wouldn't make the bread better to me, though.  I guess John's right; I like my comestibles BORINGly plain.

Did you make the bread yesterday?

Nope.  But it's a-rising on the stove top now.  :)
I got up from the computer yesterday to start the bread and a kidlet came in and wanted help with math then the other wanted something and then my mom wanted me to go with her to the library.  And it was late afternoon before I realized I'd been distracted away from some yummy bread for dinner.

I figure the kids will eat the first loaf as a snack and the second will be for dinner.  My husband will be happy.  He likes fresh homemade bread for dinner.

It's so quick to make.  It would take longer to run to the store to get it for dinner.
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Re: Italian bread making
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2012, 10:24:09 AM »
Yes; the best laid plans and all that ....    I was supposed to go out to the garage and paint some toe-kick molding (quarter-round) this morning and here I sit, feeling blah, tired and unmotivated.

Enjoy the bread.
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Re: Italian bread making
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2012, 11:24:31 AM »
I've never made bread that wasn't made in a bread-making machine. What is "punching down" the dough? Do you literally punch, or is that just a term?
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Online Pandora

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Re: Italian bread making
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2012, 11:28:59 AM »
I've never made bread that wasn't made in a bread-making machine. What is "punching down" the dough? Do you literally punch, or is that just a term?

When the dough rises, it gets a lot of air in it.  "Punching" is just a term for pressing on the dough, forcing the air out, and compacting it again.  (The dough will only rise so much and then it deflates itself, so it's best to get at it before it does so.)  I don't really know the chemistry behind the process; I imagine it relates to the re-activating the yeast.
"Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer." - Mark Twain

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Offline LadyVirginia

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Re: Italian bread making
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2012, 05:06:11 PM »
The bread is gooood!

Got back from taking the munchkins to the eye doc and they wanted to know what's for dinner.

Hmmm, how about bread?

They wanted a meal with it, dang kids.

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Online AmericanPatriot

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Re: Italian bread making
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2012, 06:09:01 PM »
I've made bread both ways, IDP.
Lot more work but the oven made by hand is much better than bread machine
I just got my bread machine so still figuring it out

Offline LadyVirginia

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Re: Italian bread making
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2012, 06:22:51 PM »
I've had 2 bread machines.  The first one was a huge hiunk of a machine and that thing lasted 12 years or so and I used it almost everyday.

I went a few years with out one and picked up a barely used one for $10 at our church rummage sale.  It was great until it rocked right off the counter.

That was a couple of summers ago.  Haven't bothered to get another.  I'm not much on the kneading of dough so that's all that a bread machine really saved me any way. Though it's handy if it has a timer you can set it to bake later.

I had a recipe once for a bread that took all day to make (there were several pages detailing the steps)--honestly, it wasn't any better than the ones I throw together and don't even knead.
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