Italian Bread (2 Loaves)

ITALIAN BREAD (2 loaves)

1 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 packages active dry yeast
cornmeal
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. butter
water
salad oil
1 egg white

In large bowl, combine sugar, salt, yeast and 2 cups flour. In
1-quart saucepan over low heat, heat butter and 1-3/4 cups water
until very warm (butter doesn’t need to melt).
With mixer at low speed, gradually beat liquid into dry
ingredients until just blended. Increase speed to medium, beat 2
minutes.

Beat in 1/2 cup flour to make thick batter. Continue beating
mixture at medium for 2 minutes. Scrape bowl often with spatula.
With wooden spoon, stir in enough additional flour (about 1-3/4
cups) to make a soft dough.

Turn dough onto floured surface, knead until smooth and elastic,
about 10 minutes, adding flour while kneading.
Cut dough in half, cover pieces with bowl. Let dough rest 20
minutes for easier shaping.

Grease large cookie sheet; sprinkle with cornmeal.
On floured surface with floured rolling pin, roll each half into
15″ by 10″ rectangle. From 15″ side, tightly roll dough, pinch
seam to seal.

Place loaves, seam side down, on cookie sheet and taper ends.
Brush loaves with oil; cover loosely with plastic wrap.
Refrigerate 2 – 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Remove loaves from fridge, uncover.
Let stand 10 minutes. cut 3 or 4 diagonal slashes on top of each
loaf. Bake 20 minutes.
In small bowl with fork, beat egg white with 1 tbsp. water.
Remove loaves from oven, brush with egg, return to oven, bake 5
minutes.

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