Rustic Italian Loaf
Type: Desserts and Baked Goods
A fermented starter gives this rustic loaf bread a lovely sour flavor
Prep Time: prep 30 mins, plus rising
Cooking Time: cook 40 mins
Serves: makes 1 loaf
For the starter
- 1 cup bread flour
- 1 / 4 tsp instant yeast
- 1 / 3 cup tepid water
For the dough
- 1 1 / 2 cups tepid water
- 3 1 / 4 cups bread flour
- 2 tsp olive oil, plus more for brushing
- 1 1 / 2 tsp instant yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- For the starter, stir the flour, yeast, and water in a bowl until the mixture forms a ball. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, coat with oil, and cover. Let stand in a warm place for at least 12 hours, until it triples in volume and has an acidic aroma.
- The next day, combine the starter and water in a large bowl. Add the flour, oil, yeast, and salt and stir until the dough comes together. It will be very wet and sticky. Fold the dough over on itself in the bowl for a few minutes, until it begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
- Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let stand in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Lightly oil a baking sheet. Punch down the dough. Knead the dough on a floured work surface until smooth and elastic. Mold the dough into an oval shape. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C) and bake for 30 minutes more, or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped underneath. Let cool on a wire rack.
- prep 30 mins, plus rising; cook 40 mins
Excerpted from The Illustrated Kitchen Bible.
Copyright © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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