A reader of my post for Easy Italian Bread asked for a series of pictures showing the work in progress. I made a fresh batch this morning and have posted pictures that I hope will be of some help in making this very easy bread. It’s essential that you use a fast-rising yeast (Fleischmann’s Rapid Rise in the U.S., Quick Rise in Canada). Click on a picture to enlarge it.
Dry ingredients in the large bowl of an electric mixer:
After adding 130 degree F water and oil, insert dough hook and beat at medium speed for 3 minutes.
Add remainder of flour gradually until dough is elastic and not sticky. You may need a bit more flour.
With floured hands, place dough on a floured board. Add enough flour to shape into a mound and cover with a towel to rest on the board for 10 minutes.
Divide dough in half and roll each into a long, narrow loaf.
Place loaves on greased baking sheet, allowing room on all sides of each loaf.
Cover and let rise in a warm place that is free of drafts. I set mine on my microwave which is under a cabinet overhang.
After 30 minutes rising time, the bread should have doubled in height.
Brush with water, cut diagonal slashes with a serrated knife and bake in a preheated 375 degree F oven for 20-25 minutes.
Cover with a towel and allow to cool on a wire rack.
This makes two very good, fast and easy rustic loaves of bread.