Sunday, February 20, 2011
Gravy + Bread = Sunday.
Long before the days of the "Jersey Shore" came to reality TV, having Sunday dinner was a standard tradition in my family. Thankfully, my husband.... although Greek, has embraced this tradition. Even during football season, while the rest of America is having wings and dip... we are cursing our team with antipasto and manicotti in tow. A staple for this meal is Italian bread which plays a roll from preparation to cleaning the plates. To my surprise, I had ignorantly gone 30 years of life thinking Italian bread was Italian bread.... end of story. Fast forward to leaving the tri-state area. I now know that just because they call it Italian Bread, does not mean it warrants being dipped in our gravy. I started to scour the Internet, tried different local breads... nothing has the same taste. Not having THA BREAD created a huge hole in our Sunday dinners, until this evening.
I reached out to a fellow baker and well respected food blogger ( I hope that is the right thing to call you Marilla?) to see if she had tested any true Italian bread recipes... she hadn't but had one that she felt should be tested out. Tonight I did my own version of this recipe and I am elated to say, I am fat and full....happy Sunday.
Below is MY variation of the original recipe which is also referenced below with the original link.
pre-heat to 425
3 CUPS OF ALL PURPOSE FLOUR
1 1/4 CUPS OF SEMOLINA
1 CUP OF WARM WATER
1 CUP OF SKIM MILK
1 TBLS OF HONEY
2 1/4 TSP OF ACTIVE DRY YEAST
IN A GLASS COMBINE YEAST AND WARM WATER. THEN IN A STAND MIXER COMBINE WATER/YEAST MIXTURE, HONEY AND MILK. MIX FOR ABOUT 2 MINUTES AND THEN LET SIT FOR ABOUT 5 MINUTES TILL YOU SEE SOME FOAM FORM.
ADD 2 CUPS OF THE ALL PURPOSE FLOUR TO THE RESTING MIXTURE IN THE MIXER, MIX AT MEDIUM SPEED FOR ANOTHER 2-3 MINUTES AND MAKE SURE ALL IS COMBINED.
STEP 3: LET MIXTURE SIT FOR 1 HOUR COVERED WITH A CLOTH AT ROOM TEMP.
STEP 4: AFTER THE HR BRING YOUR BOWL BACK TO THE MIXER AND ADD THE BALANCE OF THE ALL PURPOSE FLOUR AND SEMOLINA. MIX WITH THE DOUGH HOOK ATTACHMENT FOR 4 MINUTES. REMOVE THE BALL OF DOUGH TO A FLOURED SURFACE. SPLIT THE AMOUNT IN HALF- I USED ONE HALF FOR TONIGHT AND FROZE THE REST FOR NEXT WEEK.
STEP 5: I KNEADED THE DOUGH LIGHTLY AND FORMED A TRADITIONAL LOAF. YOU DON'T HAVE TO FOLLOW THIS- ROUND LARGE LOAFS ARE NICE AS WELL, LIKE THE ORIGINAL RECIPE. I MADE ANGLED SLICES ACROSS THE TOP, BRUSHED THE TOP WITH WATER (YOU CAN USE OLIVE OIL AS WELL) AND PUT SOME SESAME SEEDS.
*THE SEMOLINA WILL BROWN- IT DIDN'T BURN AT ALL IN MY EXPERIENCE... THAT WAS MY FEAR BUT ACTUALLY LEFT A REAL NICE NUTTY SMELL IN THE KITCHEN AND WAS PERFECT ON THE BOTTOM OF THE CRUST!
MOST RECIPES USE CORNMEAL ON THE BOTTOM OF THE PAN, I DIDN'T HAVE ANY AND REALLY FELT LIKE THE BAKERIES AT HOME USED SEMOLINA.... SO I COVERED THE BOTTOM OF MY BAKING SHEET W/ SEMOLINA, MADE SURE THE BOTTOM OF MY LOAF GOT COVERED AND LET IT REST AT ROOM TEMP AGAIN FOR 15 MINUTES.
YOUR OVEN SHOULD BE PRE-HEATED TO 425 DEGREES. IN A SECOND SMALL CAKE PAN OR WHATEVER YOU HAVE AVAILABLE SET A BAKING PAN WITH ABOUT 1/2" OF WATER ON THE RACK BELOW WHERE YOUR BREAD WILL BAKE. WHEN THE 15 MINUTE FINAL REST IS UP, PUT YOUR LOAF IN THE OVEN, BAKE ABOUT 25 MINUTES OR UNTIL GOLDEN BROWN.
COOL FOR ABOUT 15 MINUTES BEFORE CUTTING AND SERVING.
I KNOCKED MY SESAME SEEDS OFF..DON'T ASK..LOL...
I HOPE YOU ENJOY THE ORIGINAL RECIPE BELOW OR MY VERSION ABOVE....man jeeh!
MY RECIPE ADAPTED FROM THIS ORIGINAL WHICH WAS GIVEN TO ME BY MARILLA DELNICK OF CUPCAKEREHAB.COM
oh and my version of the recipe is exclusive to bake boutique inc. ;)
Posted by Danelle Florio at 2:47 PM