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Pugliese Bread

  • Yield: Makes 2 loaves
Pugliese Bread

Source: Martha Stewart Living Television

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds (about 8 cups) unbleached unbromated all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 package instant dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • Olive oil, for bowl

Directions

  1. Mix flour, 3 cups water, and yeast together in a large mixing bowl. Knead vigorously on a lightly floured surface; dough should be sticky and wet. After 10 minutes, add salt. Kneed until dough begins to pull away from the working surface and develops a smooth, light sheen, 5 to 7 minutes more.

  2. Lightly coat the interior of a large mixing bowl with olive oil; make sure the bowl is at least 3 times larger than the dough. Set dough in bowl, and let rise until it triples in volume, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

  3. Heat the oven to 500 degrees.with a baking stone or a baking cloche. Meanwhile, divide dough in half, and form two ovals or rounds. Allow to sit on generously floured parchment paper or dish towel. Let dough double in size, about 45 minutes.

  4. Invert dough onto heated baking stone or cloche, then score deeply with a razor or a sharp knife, making three slashes, each about 2 inches long. If you have a baking cloche, cover it immediately with the bell. If using a baking stone, you need to add moisture to the oven for at least 20 minutes of the baking process; place a pie pan filled with ice cubes on the floor of the oven to produce steam, and refill with more ice as necessary. Bake dough for 20 minutes.

  5. Remove the bell or moisture source, and lower temperature to 425 degrees. Bake until crust is a rich brown, about 25 minutes more.

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