Italian Bread

I love making bread at home. And, I think the bread that I use most often would have to be Italian bread. It’s my go-to loaf to make garlic bread, and croutons, and breadcrumbs…great in so many applications. So it was only natural that I wanted to learn to make this favorite at home!

It’s a little time consuming, as it requires a “sponge” that needs to be prepared and let to do it’s thing before the bread is put together for it’s rise and bake. But it’s that crucial step that produces a chewy loaf that’s soft on the inside, yet crusty and crunchy on the outside – essential for a good loaf of Italian bread. You can do it the night before, but I’ve also just done the sponge early in the morning, and then continued with the recipe in the afternoon with no issues.

This recipe turns out two gorgeous loaves. We’ll usually have one for dinner the night that I bake it, and then store on in the freezer so there’s always one on hand. Saves me a trip to the store on those last-minute spaghetti nights when all I need is a loaf of bread. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Source: adapted from The Fresh Loaf via Annie’s Eats

7 Comments

  1. Posted April 23, 2014 at 11:43 AM | Permalink

    Oh man. This bread looks amazing and delicious and perfect!!

  2. Shelly
    Posted April 23, 2014 at 1:55 PM | Permalink

    Sounds like I could do this too. Looks beautiful with those perfect little bread holes! I have a question, my house is basically cold, poor insulation and room temp butter is hard. LOL What should I do for the sponge resting period? Thanks :)

    • Posted April 23, 2014 at 9:04 PM | Permalink

      You could place it in the oven (that’s off!) for some better insulation, or in another warm spot – like on top of the refrigerator.

      • Shelly
        Posted April 27, 2014 at 9:24 PM | Permalink

        Thank you I will do that. :) Love your blog and recipes!!

  3. LuisaCA
    Posted April 25, 2014 at 5:12 PM | Permalink

    Question:
    Did you line the baguette pan with parchment?

    • Posted April 26, 2014 at 11:07 PM | Permalink

      No, I sure didn’t. Had no problem with sticking. If you’re worried about it, give it a squirt of non-stick spray!

  4. LuisaCA
    Posted April 28, 2014 at 4:32 PM | Permalink

    Thanks. When I’ve used my baguette pan before I’ve Pam sprayed it and dusted with cornmeal. I just thought you may have done differently.

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