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Recipe Name: Amy Scherber's Crusty Italian Loaf Submitted by: Administrator
Source: Source Description:
Ethnicity: Last Modified: 2/22/2014
Base: Comments:
Preparation Time:
Number of Servings: 3

3/4 Teaspoon(s) Active dry yeast
1/4 Cup(s) 2 ounces very warm
Water, 105 to 115 degrees F
1 Cup(s) 8 ouncescool water 75
Degrees F), Degrees F
1 1/2 Cup(s) 12 ounces Sponge Starter
recipe follows
3 1/2 Cup(s) 16 ounces unbleached
All-Purpose Flour
1 Tablespoon(s) Plus 1 teaspoon Kosher salt

A sponge starter bread Combine the warm water and yeast in a large
bowl and stir with a fork to dissolve the yeast. Let stand for 3
minutes. Add the cool water and sponge to the yeast mixture and mix
with your fingers for about 2 minutes, breaking up the sponge. The
mixture should look milky and slightly foamy. Add the flour and salt
and mix with your fingers to incorporate the flour, scraping the sides
of the bowl and folding the ingredients together until the dough
gathers into a mass. It will be wet and sticky, with long strands of
dough hanging from your fingers. If the dough is not sticky, add 1
tablespoon of water. Move the dough to a lightly floured surface and
knead for about 5 minutes, until it becomes supple and fairly smooth.
This is a sticky, wet dough; don't be tempted to add more flour to the
work surface. Just dust lightly and use a dough scraper as necessary
to loosen the dough from the table during kneading. Allow the dough to
rest for 15 minutes, covered with oiled plastic wrap. (This rest
period is the autolyse.) Knead the dough 3 to 5 minutes, until it is
stretchy and smooth, yet still slightly sticky. Shape the dough into a
loose ball, place it in a lightly oiled bowl, and turn the dough in
the bowl to coat with oil. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap
and let the dough rise at room temperature (75 to 77 degrees F) for
about 1 hour, or until the dough looks slightly puffy but has not
doubled. Place the dough in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours, or
preferably, overnight to let it relax, develop flavor, and become more
manageable. Take the dough from the refrigerator and let it sit at
room temperature for 1 to 2 hours, until it begins to warm up and
starts to rise. Flour a work surface well and gently dump the dough
onto it. Divide the dough into three equal pieces, about 13 ounces
each. Gently flatten one piece, pressing out some of the air bubbles,
and stretch it into a rectangle. Fold the top third down and the
bottom third up as if you were folding a business letter. Now form the
loaf into a short baguette by rolling the dough over from left to
right and sealing the seam with the heel of your palm. Fold the dough
over about 1/ 3 of the way each time, seal the length of the loaf,
then repeat. You want to gently draw the skin tight over the surface
of the loaf while leaving some air bubbles in the dough. Seal the
seam, being careful not to tear the skin of the dough or deflate its
airy structure. Do not elongate. These loaves are about 10 inches
long. Cover an area on the work surface with a thick layer of flour
and place the loaf, seam side down, on the flour. Repeat with
remaining pieces of dough. The loaves will be loose and slightly
irregular in shape. Leave plenty of space between the loaves they will
spread as they rise. Cover the loaves with well oiled plastic and let
them rise for 1 2 hours, until bubbly and loose. Thirty minutes
before baking, preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Place a baking stone
in the oven to preheat and position an oven rack just below the stone.
Sprinkle a peel very generously with cornmeal. Line an upside-down
baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle very generously with
cornmeal. Lift one loaf, flip it over so the floured side is on top,
and gently tug on the ends to stretch the loaf to the full length of
the peel, or about 14 inches on a pan. Repeat with the remaining
loaves, placing 2 on the peel and 1 on the pan. Dimple each loaf with
your finger in about 6 places, but don't deflate them too much. Be
sure the loaves are loosened from the peel, then carefully slide them
onto the baking stone. Place the pan of bread on the rack below the
stone. Using a plant sprayer, quickly mist the loaves with water 8 to
10 times, then quickly shut oven door. Mist the loaves again after 1
minute. Then mist again 1 minute later. Bake for about 10 minutes,
then reduce the temperature to 450 degrees and bake 15 minutes longer
or until the loaves sound slightly hollow when tapped on the bottom
and the crust is a medium to dark brown. (If the crust is not brown
enough, the loaves will soften as they cool.) Transfer the bread to a
rack to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. BAKERS' DOZEN AMY
SCHERBER SHOW #BD1A52 Copyright, 1996, TV FOOD NETWORK, G.P., All
Rights Reserved Posted to Bakery-Shoppe Digest V1 #230 by Bill
<> on Sep 11,

Nutrition (calculated from recipe ingredients)
Calories: 913
Calories From Fat: 21
Total Fat: 2.5g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 1885.5mg
Potassium: 277.1mg
Carbohydrates: 191.2g
Fiber: 7g
Sugar: <1g
Protein: 26.2g

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