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What a great easy, yummy wonderful Italian bread. It really doesn’t take much time, effort or ingredients to get there, just a little flour, yeast, water, salt sugar and oil.

I wasn’t expecting so much from such a simple, easy recipe and I was delighted! It’s got the perfect crust, crunchy with a slight chewiness and is so incredibly soft and delightful on the inside. And what a pretty loaf it makes!

Choose this crusty, chewy bread to serve with soup, stew, or pasta. This also makes excellent croutons, grilled cheese sandwich, toast and French toast. And of course, this bread is great out of the oven just eating slice after slice plain, or slathered with butter or cream cheese.

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5 from 1 vote

Classic Italian Bread Fast2eat

This classic Italian bread recipe is soft and tender on the inside, with a chewy crust on the outside. It is an easy homemade bread recipe made with flour, water, yeast, salt, sugar, and oil.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time3 hrs 35 mins
Waiting time15 mins
Total Time3 hrs 55 mins
Course: Appetizers & Starters, Breakfast & Brunch
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Bread, Bread machine, Bread maker, Breadmaker, Classic Italian Bread, Easy, Fast, French Cycle, Homemade bread, Italian Bread, Recipe
Servings: 16 slices
Calories: 91kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Water 75°– 85°F or 24°– 30°C
  • 1 1/2 tsp Oil
  • 3 cups Bread flour
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Active dry yeast

Instructions

  • Attach the kneading blade in the bread pan.
  • Place ingredients into the bread pan following the recipe order (or following the order and method specified in the manual of your Bread Maker – mine is: FIRST, liquid ingredients; SECOND, dry ingredients; LAST, yeast). Note: With finger or a knife, make a small indentation in the middle of the flour. Add yeast to indentation, making sure it does not come into contact with the liquid ingredients.
  • Carefully insert bread pan into Bread Maker and gently close the lid.
  • Select “French” bread setting. If available Choose crust color (I usually set Medium, but if you prefer set Light or Dark) and loaf size (1.5 LB) and Press the Start button. With this bread it is safe to use the timer function.
  • It will mix and bake the bread. When the baking cycle is complete, press the stop button and unplug the breadmaker.
  • Open the lid and while using Oven Mitt, firmly grasp the bread pan handle and gently pull the pan straight up and out of the machine. CAUTION: The Bread Maker and pan may be very hot! Always handle with care.
  • Use non-stick Spatula to gently loosen the sides of the bread from the pan.
  • Turn bread pan upside down onto a Wire Cooling Rack or clean cooking surface and gently shake until bread falls out onto rack.
  • Cool for about 10-15 minutes before slicing.
  • To make perfect slices every time use a Bread Slicer with an Electric Knife.

Notes

It’s always a good idea to open the bread machine’s lid during the second kneading cycle (after about 10 minutes) and check the consistency of the doughball.
Dough is “just right” when it is smooth round ball in appearance, soft to the touch, leaves a slight residue on your finger, and the bottom of the bread pan is clean of dough residue.
  • If it’s too dry add lukewarm liquid a teaspoon at a time until it looks right.
  • If it looks too wet, add flour a tablespoon at a time until it looks right.
  • If there is flour in the sides of the pan, use a Silicone Spatula to wipe the flour from the pan.
Important: This can be done during the knead cycle only. DO NOT remove the pan, KEEP it locked in the machine. Do NOT turn off the bread maker to adjust dough.

Weather can affect your ingredients
If you live in a moist climate, chances are you’ll need at least the recommended amount of flour, maybe even 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup more. Bread dough should be sticky, but still manageable, especially after the first rise. While you’re kneading, the dough should come together and pull away from the sides of the bowl, leaving the bowl mostly clean. I usually aim to have the very bottom of the dough still attached to the bowl. Try not to add too much flour because your bread will be denser. When you pick the dough up, some will stick to your fingers. After the first rise, it will be easier to handle!

You may also make this bread without the aid of a bread machine, or make the dough in a bread machine, and bake it in the oven.
Simply make the dough using your usual method (by hand, electric mixer or bread machine); allow it to rise until puffy, then shape it into a log; and place it in a lightly greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch (21.5 x 11.5 cm) bread pan. Allow the loaf to rise, covered, until it's crowned about 1 inch over the rim of the pan. If you want, brush the risen loaf with the beaten egg white, and sprinkle it with seeds. Bake it in a preheated 350°F/175°C oven for 35 minutes, or until its interior temperature registers 190°F/88°C on an instant-read thermometer. Remove the bread from the oven, remove it from the pan, and cool it on a wire rack.

How can you tell if bread is fully baked?
I like to use a food thermometer. Mine is digital, so it’s very easy to use. Fully cooked bread will be 190-200°F/88-93°C. Bread recipes that include milk will need to cook until 200°F/93°C, but without you can take it out once it reaches 190°F/88°C. The top will be golden brown.

Also check:


* “Long-term dietary intake of gluten was not associated with risk of coronary heart disease. However, the avoidance of gluten may result in reduced consumption of beneficial whole grains, which may affect cardiovascular risk. The promotion of gluten-free diets among people without celiac disease should not be encouraged.” (Source: http://www.bmj.com/content/357/bmj.j1892)

Nutrition

Calories: 91kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 183mg | Potassium: 28mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg

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