Monday, April 23, 2012

Italian Feather Bread

This bread has a super crispy crust and soft dough inside. It is delicious served with soup, brushed with garlic butter or olive oil and garlic. It's also a wonderful bread to use when making bruschetta.

2 pkgs active dry yeast
1 tbls sugar
1 cup warm water (100-115 F)
1/3 cup butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup hot whey (or milk)
2 tsp salt
5 1/2-6 cups flour
1 egg white lightly beaten with 1 tbls cold water
sesame seeds (optional)

Stir yeast, sugar and warm water together. Let sit 10 minutes or until mixture is bubbly. In the meantime, melt the butter in the hot whey and let cool to lukewarm. Add the salt and combine with yeast mixture. Pour mixture into large bowl, and using the dough hook, add flour 1 cup at a time or until dough holds together on the hook. 

Turn out on floured board and knead until smooth, 2-4 min. Divide dough in half and roll each out into 12 x 8-inch rectangle. Starting with the wide end, roll up tightly and seal end seams by pushing down with the side of your hand and tucking under. Place each on a baquette pan or large baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray and sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover and let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 50-60 min. 

Brush with beaten egg white and bake in 425 oven 30-40 minutes or until loaves are a rich golden color and make a hollow sound when you tap the top with your knuckles. 

Cool on wire rack. Slice and serve as desired.


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