This is my children’s favorite bread. They’re not big fans of the crusty-types of sourdough. This is soft and perfect for them. Allowing an overnight cold rise allows flavors to develop.
This recipe makes 2 very large loaves, so good for a family that likes to eat bread at many meals. It also stays nice and soft for about a week.
Combine yeast (I use Saf-Instant Premium purchased in bulk, and stored in the freezer. It lasts quite a while), sugar, flour, salt.
Add water, oil, butter, and 1/4 cup unfed sourdough starter. Although this is optional, it definitely contributes to flavor complexity.
Knead 5 minutes with a mixer or by hand. I have not kneaded bread by hand in years because I’d have to do only one thing at a time, and you know that isn’t going to happen. I use my KitchenAid mixer.
This makes a soft, beautiful dough. Cut into 2 pieces and roll into rectangle (I really just push it into a rectangle with my hands).
And roll into a long tube, rolling the ends under and pressing the seams.
Place on cookie sheet with corn meal (I love the corn meal but it’s definitely optional).
Spray with oil and cover with food service film. Place in refrigerator overnight.
Remove from refrigerator.
Allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. On one loaf I added everything seasoning.
Give it a good slash. This is actually important because it allows space for a nice “oven spring”, that is the final rise that bread gets when it’s initially heated in the oven. These I did long-ways but usually I do five or six diagonal slits.
Bake at 425 for 20 minutes, then brush with egg white mixed with a tablespoon of water. Cook for another 5 minutes. This gives a nice shiny finish and helps maintain softness.
Normally I do the cuts across the top but it just depends on what you want the final shape of the bread to be.
Adapted from Tastes of Lizzy T
Overnight Italian Bread
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- 2 teaspoons yeast
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 3/4 cups water
- 2 tablespoons cornmeal
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup sourdough starter
- 1 large egg white
- 1 tablespoon water
- Combine warm water, sugar, and yeast. Allow to sit for 10 minutes until the yeast foams. Add flour, salt, oil, melted butter, and sourdough starter (discard, it does not need to be fed. This is optional but definitely adds to the flavor). Knead by hand or with mixer. Form into 2 rectangles and roll into long loaves. Place on cookie sheet that has been sprinkled with corn meal. Oil tops and place food service wrap on top. Place in refrigerator and refrigerate overnight. Bake for 20 minutes at 425 degrees. Beat egg white with 1 tablespoon water and brush over top of loaves. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until cooked through.