Recipe: Authentic Italian Bread

Title: Authentic Italian Bread
Categories: Italian, Breads
Yield: 2 servings

1 ts Active dry yeast or 1/3 1/3 c Warm water
-small cake (6 grams) fresh 2/3 c Milk at room temperature
-yeast 1 c (135 grams) unbleached
1 Scant tsp. malt syrup -all-purpose flour

This takes 2 days but is worth the wait. Makes 2 round loaves Starter

Stir the yeast and malt into the water; let stand until foamy, about 10
minutes. Stir in the milk and beat in the flour with a rubber spatula or
wooden spoon about 100 strokes until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and
let stand until bubbly, at least 4 hours but preferably overnight.

Dough 2 cups water, at room temperature 6 1/4 cups (860 grams) unbleached
all-purpose flour 1 T. salt Cornmeal

Mix the starter and the water in a mixer until the starter is well broken
up. Add the flour and salt and mix for 2 to 3 minutes at low speed. The
dough will be smooth but won't pull away from the side of the bowl. Change
to the dough hook and knead at medium speed, scraping down the side of the
bowl as necessary, until the dough is elastic but slightly sticky, 3 to 4
minutes. Finish kneading by hand on a floured work surface.

First rise Place in a well-oiled bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and
let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours. The dough is ready when it is
very bubbled and blistered.

Shaping and second rise Cut the dough in half on a floured surface and
shape into 2 round loaves. Place on an oiled cookie sheet sprinkled with
cornmeal. Cover and let rise till doubled, about 1 hour.

Baking Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake about 1 hour and cool on racks.
To get a really good crust spray the loaves with water 3 times in the first
15 minutes of baking.

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