Do you know what happens when you make 3 different kinds of bread dough in one afternoon? I do. I gigantic loaf of Italian bread happens!!! Seriously - this loaf of Italian bread was huge.
It was a result of poor timing really. I started out making a batch of bread dough and while that was rising, I started a batch of whole wheat roll dough. I set that on the counter to rise and then I started a batch of Italian bread dough. No problem. Three doughs rising perfectly on the counter. Everything was going smoothly UNTIL I started to bake the first batch of bread and realized that my Italian dough was going to have to wait a REALLY long time before I could bake it. (Like a couple of hours long!) It just kept rising and rising and rising.
I should really know better than to try and make all of that bread in one afternoon.
I sliced the giant loaf of Italian bread and despite it's gargantuan size, it was really tasty. It didn't seem to really be affected by the 3 hours of proofing. I was pleasantly surprised.
This recipe came from www.micheleswomancave.blogspot.com. She made her bread in a bread machine so I modified her recipe to make it without.
3 cups bread flour
2 1/2 tsp bread machine active dry yeast
1 1/4 cups warm water
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp brown sugar
2 tbsp extra light virgin olive oil
1 large egg slightly beaten
1 tbsp water
Combine yeast, water and brown sugar. Let sit until foamy.
Add flour, salt and olive oil and knead. Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise 1 hour.
Remove from bowl. Place dough on a siplat lined baking sheet and shape into a loaf. Use a sharp knife to cut a slit down the center.
Cover and let rise 1 hour. (or 3)
Brush top of bread with the mixture of 1 beaten egg and 1 tbsp water. Bake until a golden brown.
Bake for 30 minutes at 350°F
I am anxious to make this recipe again without over proofing the dough and see how it turns out. I have to admit, this giant Italian loaf - not so bad.