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Rustic Italian Bread (Pane Rustica) Recipe

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Rustic Italian Bread


This recipe for Rustic Italian Bread (Pane Rustica), by , is from Gianni V's Stolen Recipes, one of the cookbooks created at FamilyCookbookProject.com. We'll help you start your own personal cookbook! It's easy and fun. Click here to start your own cookbook!

Cooks Illustrated Classic Italian


1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp. rapid-rise yeast
1/2 cup water at room temperature

5 cups unbleached all purpose flour, plus more for dusting work surfaces and hands.

2 cups water at room temperature

1 tsp. rapid-rise yeast

2 tsp. salt

Corn meal

Olive oil or nonstick cooking spray

2 cups hot water for adding steam

Oven bricks

Bread peel or cookie sheet (or parchment paper)

Standing mixer

Place the flour, yeast, and water in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.

Mix on the lowest setting until the ingredients form a uniform, sticky mass, about 1 minute.
Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula and turn the mixer to the second-lowest setting.

Mix until the big becomes a glutinous mass, about 4 minutes.

Transfer the biga to a clean bowl, cover it tightly with plastic wrap and allow to sit at room temperature for at least 12 hours.

Place the flour in the bowl of a standing mixer and add the water.

Stir with a wooden spoon until just combined.

Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes.

Add the biga and yeast to the bowl with the flour and water mixture and place the bowl in a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook.

Knead on the lowest setting until the ingredients come together to form a dough, about 4 minutes. (The dough should clear the sides of the bowl as it is bing kneaded but should stick to the very bottom.)

Add the salt and continue to mix over medium-low speed until the dough is smooth, about 6 minutes longer.

Transfer the dough to a larger, lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until nearly tripled in volume, about 3 hours.

Gently slide the dough onto a lightly floured surface with its rough side (the side that was touching the bowl) facing up.

Dust the dough and your hands with flour.

Gently pull the dough into a round by gathering its edges into a bundle and pinching to close, like a beggar's purse.

If you are using the peel, sprinkle it liberally with the corn meal.

Carefully transfer the dough, smooth side up to the parchment sheet or the peel.

Gently tuck the edges of the dough underneath until the loaf is taut across the top

Dust with flour and cover loosely with plastic wrap.

Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, adjust an over rack to the lower-middle position and place baking tiles.

On a second rack, set in the lowest postion, place a small baking pan to hold water.

Pre-heat the over to 500

Use a sharp knife to cut a large X about 1/2-inch deep into the top of the dough.

Gently transfer the dough to the peel (or the back of a cookie sheet) and place on the oven bricks -- use a quick jerk to slide the dough off the peel.

Pour 2 cuts hot water into the heated pan underneath the stone, being careful to avoid the steam.

Bake for 10 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 450.

Continue baking until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the botto of the bread registers 210 and the crust is dark golden brown, 30-35 minutes longer.

Remove the bread and let it cool to room temperature before slicing, about 2 hours.

Number Of Servings:
Number Of Servings:
Preparation Time:
Preparation Time:
Two days
Personal Notes:
Personal Notes:
This is one of the easiest Italian bread recipes with no manual kneading.




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