If you've ever taken my Techniques - Soups Class or my Italian Couples Cooking Class, you've enjoyed this bread along side the Pappa al Pomodoro. Here it is in all of it's glory, as a mini bread bowl for this simply delicious Italian Tomato Soup. If you don't feel like bread bowls, make a large boule and serve it alongside or grill large slices. (This is also the BEST sandwich bread!!!) I know this isn't gluten free, this is basking in bread day!
2 TBS active dry yeast
2 cups warm water
pinch of sugar
3 TBS olive oil
3 ½ cups AP flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 TBS salt
Optional: ¼ cup finely chopped herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, parsley
Preheat oven to 410 degrees F.
Activate the yeast in a liquid measuring cup with the warm water and pinch of sugar.
Pour the olive oil into the bottom of a Kitchenaid stand mixer bowl, with a dough hook attached. Add the flours, salt and herbs, if desired. Mix on medium to combine.
On low speed, add the yeast/water mixture. Once all of the flour is incorporated, turn the mixer speed up to work the dough. Let this go on medium-high for ~3 minutes. Make sure that you don’t leave the mixer unattended, as they like to “walk” off of the counter. If high is too aggressive, then turn the mixer down in speed. The dough should be in a large ball, not sticking to the sides. As we go over in class, if it’s sticking it needs more flour – tablespoon by tablespoon until it’s no longer tacky to touch.
Shape into a ball, place in an oiled bowl with a damp rag over the top and let it rise in a warm place. Once it doubles in size, should take 30 min to 1 hour, punch it down. Shape it, and let it rise again on parchment lined pans.
For the mini bread bowls, use 2 ounces of dough; for the boule use all of the dough. Work it together to create the round. Score the top, as desired. You can use an oil and egg wash for the top. Let it rise again for an additional 20-30 minutes and place in oven.
Bake for 45-65 minutes (the minis may take less time!). You should be able to “knock” the outside and it should sound hollow when it is done. If you prefer: use a thermometer, the internal temperature should read atleast 190 degrees F.
Let them cool and enjoy!!!! Happy cooking and eating!