supermarket italian bread
4 cups flour
2 tablespoons vital gluten ( optional )
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons Sugar
2 teaspoons active dry yeast ( instant yeast )
1 1/3 cups water ( lukewarm )
3 tablespoons Olive oil
2 tablespoons potato flour
1 tablespoon barley malt flour ( diastatic malt powder, optional )
In a large bowl, stir together all of the dough ingredients till cohesive. If you use vital wheat gluten, mix it with the flour before adding it to the liquids. Knead the dough for 5 to 8 minutes, until it's smooth and supple, adding more water or flour as needed. This can be done by hand, or using a stand mixer. I have done it both ways, but I enjoy the ease of the stand mixer now that it is fixed and I can use it again.
Cover the dough and allow it to rise for 1 hour, or until it's doubled in bulk. I like to turn my oven on to 200, preheat it, turn it off, and then open the oven for a minute to let it cool off some, and then let my bread rise in there with the door closed. Works great, specially in cold weather.
Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface and divide it into two pieces (I used a baguette pan which has narrower trenches then an italian bread pan, so I divided it in to 3 pieces). Shape each piece into a smooth 16" log. Place the logs into the two wells of a lightly greased Italian bread pan, cover, and let the loaves rise until very puffy, about 1 hour. If you do not have a baguette or italian bread pan, then just place them on a cornmeal dusted piece of parchment on a baking sheet to rise and then bake, works great too!
Brush the loaves with the egg wash, then sprinkle heavily with sesame seeds or poppy seeds, or leave them plain like I did. Slash the loaves diagonally, making 3 slashes in each, and immediately put them in the oven. Bake in a preheated 400°F oven for about 25 minutes, until the loaves are golden brown. For the crispiest crust, turn off the oven, prop the door open, and allow the bread to cool in the oven. I find it really hard to wait until it cools, so we usually have the loaves eaten before they are even done cooling. Go ahead, go for it!
These loaves rise quite a bit, so make sure you leave enough room between them if you are using a flat baking sheet.
1 egg whites
1/4 cup sesame seeds ( or poppy seeds (both optional) )
Adapted from Adapted from King Arthur Flour's Italian Supermarket Bread
Read more at http://myrecipemagic.com/recipe/recipedetail/supermarket-italian-bread#UhaOLtxH7cJtiobO.99