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5 from 1 vote

Crusty Italian Bread

Crusty breads with soft, airy crumbs are my favorite, and here's an Italian loaf that I absolutely adore and bake up every chance I get. Vegan, part whole-grain, no added sugars
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Bread
Cuisine: Italian, nut-free, Soy-free, Vegan
Author: Vaishali Honawar

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Mix the yeast and the warm water in a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  • Add the whole-wheat flour and 3/4th cup of all-purpose flour to the bowl and mix with the dough hook or with a wooden spoon until everything's thoroughly mixed together.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it stand overnight or for eight hours.
  • Now add the salt and the remaining all-purpose flour to the bowl, a cup at a time, kneading and mixing. Drizzle in the olive oil. You want a smooth but not stiff dough. Continue to knead for another eight minutes.
  • Shape the dough into a smooth ball and then place in a greased bowl, turning over once to coat the top with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and set it aside to rise in a warm place for an hour or until it has doubled in size.
  • Punch down the dough and divide into two. Shape each half into a loaf by punching it into a round about eight inches in diameter and then rolling it up into a loaf. Pinch the seams together and tuck them underneath.
  • Sprinkle some cornmeal on a lightly greased baking sheet. Place the loaves as far apart as you can on the sheet, giving enough room on all sides for the loaves to rise.
  • Cover with a kitchen towel and set aside for two hours. The loaves should double in size. In the last half hour of rising, preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a baking pan with water in the bottom rack of the oven.
  • Just before you place the loaves in the oven, make two or three sharp slashes on the top of each loaf using a very sharp knife. You want to use a swift motion so as to not deflate the bread.
  • Bake the bread for 40 minutes or until the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.
  • Remove the baking sheet to a rack and cool 10 minutes, then transfer the loaves to the rack and continue cooling them.