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Old 12-01-2008, 09:38 PM   #1
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Italian Sub Sandwich Bread

A friend is making a sub sandwich lunch for several friends tomorrow, so I offered to make the bread for her. She has had my Italian bread many times, so was excited to take me up on the offer. She will be able to feed 10-12 ladies with these four loaves. 2# 10 oz. recipe. Wow, does it ever smell good in here tonight.



I know I've posted this recipe before, but if someone new is ready to try it, here it is:



Basic Italian Bread
From the kitchen of: Joe Valencic

Ingredients:
2 Cups water, lukewarm (16 oz.)
2 teaspoons Instant Yeast
5 3/4 Cups bread flour (1# 13 oz.)
1 Tablespoon dark brown sugar (Regular brown sugar works fine)
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Egg white, lightly beaten
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds

Directions:
Mix flour, salt and yeast in a bowl and blend ingredients so they mix well. Using a dough hook attachment, add the flour and brown sugar to the water and mix on low speed until the dough starts to form. Drizzle the oil into the dough and beat on medium speed for 8 to 10 minutes, or until a smooth, firm, elastic dough is formed. (At this point I take it out and hand knead, adding flour if needed, for 5 minutes or until Im happy with the texture of the dough. You want it smooth, not sticky.)

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and spray the dough with a thin coating of cooking spray. Wrap the bowl with plastic wrap (I use plastic shopping bags instead of wasting plastic wrap. Put the bowl in the bag and tuck the handles underneath to keep out any breeze) and set aside to proof in a warm, draft-free place for 1 to hour or until doubled in size. Remove the plastic wrap (bag), punch down and flatten the rounded dough with the heel of your hand, and split into two equal pieces. Roll the dough up tightly, sealing the seam well. The dough should be elongated and oval-shaped, with tapered and rounded (not pointed) ends.

Preheat the oven lined with a pizza stone to 400 F. Alternately, an inverted baking sheet may be used in place of a pizza stone.
Place the dough on a baker's peel heavily dusted with semolina flour, or cornmeal, or alternately on an inverted baking sheet. (I use parchment paper on my peel dusted with cornmeal, so I can slide it all onto my pizza stone) Allow the dough to proof, loosely covered with sprayed plastic (I cut up the bag) and a dishtowel, for about one hour, or until doubled in size. Brush the dough with the egg white and sprinkle the sesame seeds over the top. Using a razor blade or sharp knife, score 3 (1/4-inch deep) slashes across the top of the dough at a 45 degree angle.

Spray the dough with water from a water bottle and place in the oven on the baking stone. Immediately close the oven and bake for 3 minutes. Open the oven door and spray the dough again with the water bottle. Close the oven door and bake for an additional 3 minutes before spraying the dough for a third time (the spraying of the dough will ensure a crisp golden brown crust). Bake the dough for 30 minutes, or until a hollow thud is heard when the bread is whacked with the bowl of a wooden spoon. Bread should have internal temperature of at least 200 F. Allow the bread to cool slightly on a wire rack before serving.

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Old 12-01-2008, 09:45 PM   #2
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looks so good! I hope to make some tomorrow. I will have to omit the sesame seeds , due to divertulitis.
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Old 12-01-2008, 10:02 PM   #3
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Thanks for the recipe. The breads look beautiful.
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Old 12-01-2008, 11:21 PM   #4
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Wow Joe... you are truly gifted in the bread arena!
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Old 12-02-2008, 01:42 AM   #5
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Akh, I was looking for an Italian bread recipe this weekend. I'll have to try this next time. If it look half as good as yours, I'll be pleased. Thanks =)
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Old 12-02-2008, 06:44 AM   #6
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Very nice, Joe.
I don't have a baking stone, and I have a baking sheet, but I wondered if a CI griddle could be used. Would the griddle more closely resemble the baking stone's properties. I'm assuming the stone is used for heat retention?
What do you think?
I may jusy give this a try this weekend.
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Old 12-02-2008, 07:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
Very nice, Joe.
I don't have a baking stone, and I have a baking sheet, but I wondered if a CI griddle could be used. Would the griddle more closely resemble the baking stone's properties. I'm assuming the stone is used for heat retention?
What do you think?
I may jusy give this a try this weekend.
Fred,

The stone is used for both heat retention and even heat distribution. I got my latest one (14" x15") at Bed Bath & Beyond for $19.95 less the 20% coupon. People laugh at me when I talk about using coupons at BB&B, but we get so many of them in the mail, the newspaper and coupon bundles, that I even keep a few in my truck in case I need to pick up something while I'm out.

Before I had cooking stones I made this bread on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and dusted with cornmeal. It came out just fine.

If you want to get creative, take half of the dough, roll it into a log and divide into three equal pieces. Roll each piece (from the center to the ends) into a rope about 16-18" long with a sharply tapered end. Pinch the three ropes together then braid the ropes into a loaf. Pinch the loose ends tightly and tuck under the loaf, then tuck the starting end under as well. You can "adjust" the shape a bit then place it on a cornmeal dusted surface to rise.

To have some fun, you can also take half of the risen dough and make it into dinner rolls of various shapes.

Joe
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Old 12-02-2008, 09:41 AM   #8
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Hey Joe, the bread looks great!!! I have a newbie question, why use brown sugar as opposed to regular granulated?
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Old 12-02-2008, 09:58 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by GrantsKat View Post
Hey Joe, the bread looks great!!! I have a newbie question, why use brown sugar as opposed to regular granulated?
Personal preference. I think the molasses in brown sugar adds to the flavor along with the EVOO. This is a VERY tasty bread.
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Old 12-02-2008, 10:05 AM   #10
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Ok thanks, I'll give it a try!
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