It’s Secret Recipe Club Day!
In SRC, members are secretly assigned another blog, search through the recipes, make something, and then reveal! Interested in joining? Click that link for all the details!
This month, I was assigned Micha’s blog, Cookin’ Mimi and I was so excited! I absolutely drool over Micha’s recipes every reveal day! Micha grew up cooking with her granddaddy and mother and it turned into her own love of cooking. She focuses on traditional southern cooking, American comfort foods, and a mix of ethnic recipes – it’s my kind of cooking!
I had such fun delving into Micha’s recipes. Should I make Peanut Butter Brownie Muddy Muddies or Cloverleaf Rolls? Or how about Mint Chocolate Pudding Brownie Parfaits or Sausage and Potato Breakfast Casserole?
All were very tempting, but what ultimately drew my eye was Chewy Italian Bread. My whole family LOVES bread. I’ve made lots of different sorts of breads, but this one especially drew my eye because the method was different. Usually, breads are kneaded, punched own, shaped and baked.
In this recipe, the bread was briefly kneaded every 10 minutes during the first raise (which have the bread its chewiness). I had to try it!
The entire family went nuts over this bread! It was incredibly soft and chewy (just like the loaves you can get at the grocery store – only homemade, so you know exactly what’s in it!)
I will definitely be making this bread again! I can hardly wait to toast it and make some killer garlic toast!
Thanks for an amazing recipe, Micha!
Soft & Chewy Italian Bread
Adapted slightly from Cookin' Mimi
½ cup very warm water (115-120 degrees F)
4 ½ tsp instant yeast
4 ½ tsp sugar
2 cups lukewarm water
4 ½ tsp olive oil
2 ¼ tsp salt
6 cups all purpose or bread flour
1 egg + 1 tbsp water, whisked together
Place the very warm water, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk to combine. Allow the mixture to stand for 5 minutes or until foamy.
Add in the lukewarm water, olive oil, salt, and 3 cups of flour. Mix with the paddle until combined.
Switch to the dough hook and add the remaining 3 cups of flour. Knead for 5 minutes. The dough will still be quite wet and sticky, but if you pinch off a piece of dough, you should be able to roll it into a loose ball in your hands.
Dust a work surface liberally with flour. Place the dough onto the surface and knead 3-4 times. Cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes, then knead 3-4 times again. Repeat, kneading a few times every 10 minutes for one hour.
Divide the dough in two. Roll into a large rectangular shape (around ½-inch thick). Then, starting from a long side, roll into a tight cylinder. Pinch the ends and tuck under. Repeat with the second loaf.
Place the loaves on a baking sheet that has been sprinkled with cornmeal or lined with parchment or lined with a silicone bread baking mat. Use a sharp knife to cut 4-5 diagonal slits through the loaves.
Whisk the egg with a tablespoon of water. Brush the egg wash all over the loaves. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and allow to raise for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Remove the plastic wrap and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375. Rotate the pans and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until the bread is browned. If desired, check for an internal temperature of 190-200 degrees to ensure that it is cooked through.
Move loaves to a wire rack and cool completely before slicing.
Makes 2 large loaves