This bread is so soft and delicious! My mom gave me this recipe and it is so amazing! This bread is best served with homemade garlic butter (see recipe in the recipes section if you want to make this). I have doubled the batch to freeze one of the loaves for later.
- 1-package (.25 ounces) active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1 cup of warm water (110-115 degrees Fahrenheit)
- 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons cane sugar
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon barley malt syrup (optional)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 egg + 1 teaspoon cold water (for the egg wash)
- cornmeal to sprinkle on your baking sheet
- 1 tablespoon melted butter (optional for brushing on top of the bread)
1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a large-sized cookie sheet. Sprinkle the cookie sheet lightly with cornmeal.
2. In a large bowl add the yeast, warm water, and cane sugar and mix together well with a whisk. Allow the mixture to sit for about 10-15 minutes to allow the yeast to develop. The mixture will look foamy on top after it has rested.
3. Add 1 cup of all-purpose flour and whisk it in to combine. Next add the olive oil and optional barley malt syrup and whisk to combine. Add the additional 2 cups of all-purpose flour a cup at a time + kosher salt mixing the flour in with a wooden spoon.
4. Once the dough has come together in a ball, remove it from the bowl and transfer it to a clean lightly floured hard surface. Knead the dough adding additional flour in small amounts as needed for about 5 minutes until it is elastic. Place the dough in a large bowl that has been lightly greased with some olive oil. Turn the dough to coat it with the olive oil and sprinkle some additional flour on top of the dough. Cover it with a clean kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise until it has doubled in size; about 1 hour.
5. After the dough has risen for about an hour, punch it down and reform it into a ball. Cover the dough and allow it to rise an additional 30 minutes.
6. Remove the dough from the bowl and transfer it to a clean lightly floured surface. Shape the dough into a French bread shape and gently pull the dough lengthwise until it is about 16 inches long. Fold the dough over on itself and press the dough down to form a lengthwise seam along the bottom portion. Fold the tips of the ends under and pinch forming rounded ends. The dough will naturally be about 4-5 inches in width. Place the dough on the prepared cookie sheet. Cover it for about 20 minutes to allow the dough to rise until it has doubled in size.
7. Once the dough has finished rising, make shallow diagonal cuts about every 4 inches on the top of the dough. Lightly brush some of the egg wash on the dough and place the bread in the oven. Cook the bread for about 20 minutes. I remove the bread once it is lightly golden on the top and about 195 degrees internal temp. Tip: you can brush the bread with 1 tablespoon melted butter about 10 minutes before it has finished cooking. Serve the bread with some homemade garlic butter.
Source: My mom, adapted from allrecipes.com