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Recipe Name: Amy's Bread Pt 1 Submitted by: Administrator
Source: Source Description:
Ethnicity: Last Modified: 2/22/2014
Base: Comments:
Preparation Time:
Number of Servings: 1

Ingredients needed for
sponge starter:
1 1/2 Cup(s) Very warm water, 105 - 115 f
1/4 Teaspoon(s) Active dry yeast
3 1/2 Cup(s) Unbleached all-purpose flour
crusty italian
1 Cup(s) Cool water, plus
9 Ounce(s) Cool water
1 1/2 Cup(s) Sponge starter
1 Tablespoon(s) Kosher salt, plus
1 Teaspoon(s) Kosher salt
**HOW TO PREPARE THE SPONGE STARTER*** Mix all the ingredients
together in a medium bowl and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon for
2 to 3 minutes, until a smooth, somewhat elastic batter has formed.
The batter will be stiff; it gets softer and more elastic after it has
poofed. You may find it easier to mix the sponge using an electric
mixer, with a paddle or a dough hook, on medium speed for 1 to 2
minutes. Scrape the sponge into a 2-quart clear plastic container and
cover with plastic wrap. How To Prepare the Crusty Italian Loaf:
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 should be
wet and sticky, with long strands of dough hanging from your fingers.
If necessary, add 1 tablespoon of water. Move the dough into 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 a lot of 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 for dough for 3 - 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 oiled plastic wrap and let dough rise at
room temperature (75 - 77 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 warms up and starts to rise. Flour a work surface well and
gently dump the dough onto it. Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces
(about 13 ounces each). Gently flatten one piece, pressing out some of
the air bubbles, and stretch it into a rectangle. Form into a log and
then into a short banquette about 12 inches long. The loaf will be
loose and slightly irregular in shape. Cover an area at one side of
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, leaving
plenty of space between the loaves - they will spread as they rise.
Cover the loaves with well - oiled plastic wrap and let them rise for
about one hour. Thirty minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 475
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 and flip it over
onto the peel so the floured side is on top. Gently tug on the ends to
stretch the loaf to the full length of the peel (about 14 inches).
Repeat with the remaining loaves, placing another one on the peel and
the last one on the pan. Dimple each loaf with your fingers in abut 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 8 - 10 times, then quickly shut
the oven door. Mist the loaves again after one minute. Then mist again
1 minute later. Bake for about 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature
to 450 F and bake for 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. Notes: Amy Scherber is the owner of "Amy's
Bread" in New York City and the author of the book by the same name.
Her bread is sold at numerous places throughout NYC including Union
Square Cafe, The Water Club, Dean & Deluca, Balducci's, and Fairway.
Here is a recipe for a crusty Italian continued in part 2

Nutrition (calculated from recipe ingredients)
Calories: 3198
Calories From Fat: 74
Total Fat: 8.9g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 7539.5mg
Potassium: 974.5mg
Carbohydrates: 669.4g
Fiber: 24.7g
Sugar: 2.4g
Protein: 92g

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