James Beard's Cuban Bread
It's still a really good recipe - although it goes stale fast - but you can freeze what you aren't going to use within a day and it only has one rising so it's also fast.
I know it's called Cuban bread - but Beard calls it French-style - not truly French, but just plain old bread - whatever you call it - Italian, French, Cuban ....
I guess you can see from all the posts today - I had meatballs and spaghetti and Italian bread for dinner :)
1 package active dry yeast or 2 1/4 tsp.instant yeast
2 cups lukewarm water
1 TBS salt
1 TBS sugar
6-7 cups flour (Bread flour is best)
Dissolve yeast in the water and add sugar and salt, stirring thoroughly
Add flour, 1 cup at the time , beating with wooden spoon. You can also use dough hook on electric mixer at low speed.
Add enough flour to make a fairly stiff dough
Knead until no longer sticky - adding flour as needed
Shape dough into a ball, place in greased bowl and grease top.
Cover with a towel and let rise in warm place till doubled.
Put dough on lightly floured board and shape into 2 round Italian style loaves or baguettes.
Put on baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal and allow to rise for 5 minutes.
Slash tops of loaves in 2 or 3 places with knife or scissors.
Brush loaves with water or egg wash and place them in COLD oven.
Set oven temp. at 400 F and place a pan of boiling water on bottom of oven.
Bake loaves until they are crusty and done for about 40 -45 minutes