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inside, crusty outside. This is my father’s creation.
(Makes 1 loaf)
2 egg whites
1 tablespoon yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup very warm water
3 1/2 cups of flour--mix all purpose
with bread flour, 50:50
(3 cups if using a bread machine)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons flavorful olive oil
Stir the salt into the flour. Set aside.
In mixing bowl stir together yeast, sugar and warm water. Let sit
while yeast becomes foamy and active.
Whip the egg whites in a separate bowl until soft peaks form (not until
Gradually stir about 1/3 of the flour into the yeast mixture, and when
it becomes a soft batter fold in the egg whites.
By mixer or by hand:
Add the rest of the flour as you mix and knead the bread, adding the
olive oil with the last third or so of the flour. It should be a
light and bouncy dough. Let it rise 30-40 minutes in a warm place
after either wetting the ball of dough or covering with a damp cloth so
it doesn't dry out.
After rising, punch it down, shape into a loaf, and place in greased
pan (plain loaf) or on a semolina-sprinkled pan (hearth loaf) and let
proof, keeping it damp or oiled. This rise should be about 20
While it rises, preheat the oven. When risen, slash the tops and
For hearth or french loaves:
oven 400° first 20 minutes, with frequent misting to create
steam and give a crunchy crust;
then 300° for 10-25 minutes, until it sounds done when tapped on
For regular bread-pan loaves:
set the oven 350° for about 50 minutes, or until it sounds hollow
when tapped on the bottom.
By bread machine:
Layer the egg/yeast/flour batter with 1/2 the remaining flour, then the
olive oil, and then the rest of the flour, and let the machine do the
rest, or take out the risen dough to shape and bake as above.
Herb Loaf variation
I used 2:1 whole wheat:unbleached flour. The whole wheat flour
was milled with
1/2 teaspoons black peppercons
tiny bit of anise seeds, about 1/16 teaspoon
1/8 teaspoon celery seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
(grinding the seeds finely in a coffee mill or a mortar and pestle
should give a similar result. ) The flour was then mixed
1/2 teaspoon garlic granules
1/2 teaspoon onion granules
3 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoon dried rosemary
and the salt.
After shaping, the loaves were brushed with olive
oil and sprinkled with salt and a mixture of poppy, cumin and
Feel free to play with this stuff:
Addition of herbs, chopped nuts, seeds, etc. should work well with this
nicely balanced loaf--being neither sweet nor savory, it compliments
either type of seasoning. Whole wheat flour can substitute for up
to 50% of the total flour with little decrease in the final loaf volume.
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