Surprise! It’s a breadmaker!
Our first Christmas together my husband gave me a bread maker. For some reason he had the idea that I had always wanted a bread maker. (I had dreams of a kitchen aid stand mixer which arrived the following Christmas!) but had never even thought about owning a bread machine! The bread maker has gathered a lot of dust in the past 6 years but I’ve recently discovered how amazing the bread maker can be! I never bake bread in it, but it makes perfect dough. It rises the dough at just the right temperature and it always rises and turns out excellent.
Italian Crusty Bread recipe adapted from Canada’s Best Bread Machine baking Recipes.
- 1 1/3 cups water
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp butter
- 3 1/3 cups all purpose flour or bread flour
- 1 1/4 tsp bread machine yeast
- semolina flour or cornmeal
Add ingredients to the bread machine according to the manufactures instructions and set to the dough cycle.
Once dough has risen, remove from the bread machine onto a surface lightly dusted with semolina flour. Cover and let the dough rest for 10-15 minutes.
Pull and stretch the dough into a rectangle measuring about 14X6 inches (this is very approximate) Working lengthwise, fold the dough from the edge to the centre on both sides. Tuck in the ends and turn the dough over so the folds are at the bottom. Gently roll and shape with your palms until you have a long wide, slightly flat loaf.
Put the dough on a pan (I turned my pan upside down) dusted with semolina or cornmeal. Cover and let rise 30-45 minutes or until doubled in volume.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and place a metal baking sheet on the lowest rack of the oven.
Using a sharp knife, score the top of the dough 1/4 – 1/2″ deep in 3 spots across the top.
Just before you put the bread into the oven, pour about 1/2 cup of water into the hot pan on the bottom rack and then put the bread into the oven on a middle rack. Close the oven door and don’t open it back up!
Bake the bread for 25-30 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
The finished loaf is light and airy with a crunchy chewy yummy crust.