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One thing I love more than anything is working with dough. The smell of bread baking is intoxicating to me! This recipes is super easy to make and doesn’t require a lot of fuss either. I have a proof button on my oven and it took exactly the time mentioned below. Depending on the temperature in your house the proofing time may vary.

Easy Italian Bread

Adapted from Let’s Dish)

 

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1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast

2 cups warm water

1 teaspoon sugar

2 teaspoons salt

2 cup bread flour

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 egg + 2 teaspoons water

2 teaspoons sesame seeds

 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, dissolve yeast in warm water.

 

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Stir in the sugar and salt.

 

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Add the bread flour and mix well for 2-3 minutes on medium speed.

 

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Gradually blend in the all-purpose flour, about 1 cup at a time, until a soft dough forms–you may not use all of the flour.

 

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Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.

 

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Place the dough into a greased bowl and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

 

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Punch the dough down and turn onto a floured surface.

 

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Divide the dough in half and shape each portion into a loaf, approximately 12 inches long.

 

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Place each loaf, seam side down, onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise again until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

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Using a sharp knife, make four shallow slashes across the top of each loaf.

 

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Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

 

In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and water. Brush egg mixture over the loaves and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

 

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Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.

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