Italian Bread Formula
*Adapted from Wayne Gisslen: Professional Baking Fourth Edition (2005, 701p) ISBN: 9780471464273
Method: Straight dough
Mixing Time and Speed: 8-10 minutes at speed 2
Fermentation: until doubled in size -1 ½ to 2 hours depending on room temperature
Quantity: depends on desired length
Oven Temperature: 425ºF for loaves 450ºF for rolls
Steam: first 10 minuets
Lame or razor blade to score loafs
Heatproof receptacle for steam should hold enough water to steam the bread for the first 10 minutes of baking. Start out with 1 cup.
Parchment lined sheet pans dusted with cornmeal
Ingredients U.S. Volume
Water 1 lb. 2 cups
Instant Yeast .75 oz. 1 tsp.
Bread Flour 1 lb. 12 oz. 4 3/4 cups
Salt .25 oz. 1 /14 tsp.
Sugar ¾ tsp. 3/4 tsp.
Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl in the order listed above. Mix all the ingredients until they have come together. Mix for the specified time listed above.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and round it. Place it in a greased bowl and cover it tightly with plastic wrap.
Half way through the 1st proofing turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and stretch it into a rectangle. Try not to deflate the dough. Fold the top half down to the middle of the rectangle. Fold the bottom half over the first fold. Then fold over the left side to the middle of the dough. Fold the right side over the third fold and place back into the greased bowl seem side down to finish the fermentation process.
Once the dough has doubled in size, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and punch it down. Round it and cover it with the greased bowl and bench rest it for 15 minutes.
Once it has rested, divide the dough into 4 equal parts for baguettes. Round them and roll them out into rectangles with rounded edges. Begin at the top of the long edge of the rectangle and fold in the dough pressing the edges down to secure about 1” at a time until you have a cylinder. Roll it out with the palms of your hands to the desired length and place it seem side down on the sheet pan lined with parchment and dusted with cornmeal. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and allow them to proof until doubled in size.
In the mean time, heat the oven to the appropriate temperature. Add the water about 15 minutes before baking the bread so that it starts to steam.
Uncover the bread and score it. Spray it with water and place it in the oven. If you are using two sheet pans, rotate and turn them halfway through the baking time.
When done baking, take the bread out of the oven and off the sheet pans. Place them on a cooling rack to cool. Serve or allow them to cool completely before freezing.
Re-heat in a hot oven to recondition them before serving.