This is the bread I make every Tuesday to go with whatever soup I make for our Bible Study dinner. Everyone loves it and it’s the easiest yeast bread in the world.
I usually call it French Bread, out of habit, but it’s actually Italian. I need to get in the habit of calling it that. My name is Paladini, for goodness’ sakes! – That’s Italian!)
But there’s not much difference between what is known as French Bread and Italian Bread. Traditional French bread is the baguette, a long loaf. Traditional Italian bread is shaped into large rounds. Italian bread may have a little oil or sugar added.
2 Tablespoon yeast
2 cup warm water
3 Tbsp olive oil (optional)
2 teaspoon salt
4-6 cups flour
2 tbsp cornmeal (optional)
Dissolve yeast in warm water
Stir in 3 cups flour
Stir in some more four to make sticky dough
Turn out onto floured surface and knead flour in until the dough is not sticky
Continue to knead for about 5 minutes
Butter a cast iron skillet and sprinkle with a little corn meal (optional)
(*You can also just make the loaf into a flat-ish round, and bake it on a baking sheet)
Coat the loaf of dough with butter and place it into the skillet.
Allow it to rise an hour or two.
Punch it down.
Allow to ride again for an hour or two (until doubled)
Bake at 400° till brown and hollow-sounding when you tap it.
*As a time saving hint – you can make the dough and do not let it rise. Butter it well and wrap it in plastic wrap and freeze it. Then at some future busy day you can pull it out of the freezer in the morning, unwrap it and let it thaw and rise all day. When you come home your loaf is ready for the oven.