Italian Bread

Top with tomato bruschetta for an easy Italian appetizer!


Details

Difficulty

Moderate

Yield

2 loaves

Prep Time

15 minutes

Rise Time

50 to 70 minutes

Bake Time

24 to 26 minutes

Ingredients


  • 1-3/4 cups warm water (100° to 110°F)
  • 2 (4-1/2/ tsp.) envelopes Fleischmann's® Active Dry Yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 to 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Additional flour, optional

Directions


Place 1/2 cup warm water in large warm bowl. Sprinkle in yeast; stir until dissolved. Add remaining water, salt, and 2 cups flour; blend well. Stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 6 to 8 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 20 to 40 minutes.

Punch dough down. Remove dough to lightly floured surface; divide in half. Roll each half to 12-inch circle. Roll up each circle tightly as for jelly roll to make loaf. Pinch seams and ends to seal; taper ends by gently rolling back and forth. Place loaves, seam sides down, on large greased baking sheet. Cover; let rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 20 to 40 minutes.

Lightly dust loaves with additional flour, if desired for a more artisan look. With sharp knife, make 3 or 4 diagonal slashes (1/4 inch deep) across top of each loaf. Bake at 400oF for 24 to 26 minutes or until done. Remove from sheet; let cool on wire rack.