Pam made several of her Rustic Spanish Bread Loaves today and we are now waiting for it to cool down sufficiently to taste it. It sure looks good and if the taste is anything like the looks it should be fabulous. I am seriously considering making some dipping oil to use with the bread. Here’s the recipe that she used to make her bread. If nothing else, it should go well with this day’s meal of spaghetti and meat balls.
2 3/4 cups water
5 teaspoons or 2 packs of active dry yeast
7 cups (2 pounds, 2 1/2 oz ) of bread flour (You can substitute all purpose flour; decrease water to 2 1/2 cups)
1 tbsp of salt
1/4 cup olive oil, preferably extra virgin
Sprinkle the yeast over slightly warm (95 degree) water in a small bowl or measuring cup. Gently stir it gently followed by letting the mixture sit for approximately 10 minutes.
Measure out your flour and place it in a bowl of a kitchen mixer with a dough hook attached. If making by hand, put the flour in a large mixing bowl.
Turn on the mixer, then add salt to the flour, and allow the dough to mix well. Slowly drizzle the olive oil into the flour as the mixer is running.
Slowly drizzle in the water and yeast mixture, allowing the dough to knead from the machine for four minutes.
If making the dough by hand, combine the flour with the yeast and water mixture using a wooden spoon, then turn the dough out on a floured surface and knead for five minutes.
After kneading, you should have a smooth, springy like dough which pops back lightly when pressed with your finger.
Cover the dough while from the bowl with a piece of waxed paper that’s been sprayed with cooking spray with a kitchen towel. Let rise for 1 hour or until doubled.
Knead the risen dough by hand on a floured surface for about a minute to remove air. Form the dough into two equal-size balls, and put on a 15-inch baking sheet.
Cover the loaves again with waxed paper and a kitchen towel, and let rise another time for 20-25 minutes or until doubled.
Bake 5 minutes longer to get a crisper crust.