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Aritisan Italian Herb

by Carol
(Alberta)

Recipe makes 2 loaves.
This is by far one of my family’s favorite breads to eat with any kind of pasta dish. We can easily consume both loaves at one meal.

I like to use dry Italian herbs because they are always in my pantry.

The crust is crisp and the center is chewy.

I like to have a few unbaked loaves always in the freezer. I just then have to thaw and bake.

I like to serve it to my family warm with plenty of garlic butter.

Ingredients

2 cups warm water
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
11/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons dry Italian herbs ground very fine
1 teaspoon olive oil
4 - 5 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons corn meal for baking sheet

Instructions
In a large bowl add yeast to warm water and stir. Allow this mixture to sit for 5 minutes.

Add the sugar, salt, Italian herbs, and olive oil to yeast mixture. Mixing until it forms a ball.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for about 8 minutes.

Divide the dough into two equal pieces and form each piece into a ball.

Coat each dough ball generously with flour.

Sprinkle a little corn meal onto a large baking sheet and spread to lightly cover.

Place the dough balls about 5 inches apart on the baking sheet.

Using a sharp knife, make a few cuts on the top of each ball.

Cover the baking sheet loosely with plastic wrap.

Allow the dough to rise for 40 - 60 minutes or until dough has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

Place the baking sheet on the middle rack in your preheated oven.

Place a pan of warm water on the bottom rack to make the crust crispy.

Bake your bread for 15 - 20 minutes or until bread is golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped.

Remove the bread from oven and place on a rack to cool.

Wait until cool to slice.

If you make a double batch of Aritisan Italian Herb it freezes very well. You can freeze it before you let it rise, or after it is baked.

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