2cupswarm water, divided (If the water is too warm, it can lead to your bread not rising properly. If the water is too cool, it can lead to a chance of your bread not rising)
2tablespoonolive oil(or any vegetable oil)
5 1/2cups unbleached all purpose flour
In the bowl of your stand up mixer with a dough hook, add ½ cup of warm water, yeast, and granulated sugar.
Once the yeast has bloomed (or foamed), add the remaining water, oil, and salt. Mix slightly 30 seconds.
Add the flour. I like adding the flour in increments, about a 1/3 at a time, and slightly mix in between each on low speed. Add the next 1/3 of the flour once you don’t have much loose flour in the bowl.
Once you added all the flour and all ingredients are incorporated, increase the speed of your mixer to medium and mix for 5 minutes. At one point, the dough will form a ball and separate from the wall of the bowl. Once touching the dough, it is sticky but does not leave your hands covered in dough.
Transfer the dough to a light flour surface (about 1 tablespoon of flour) and knead the dough into a ball.
Transfer the dough into an oiled large mixing bowl. Cover with a plastic film and let it rise for 1 hour or until it doubles. In a warm, draft-free place. I like putting mine in the microwave.
Grease (I like using butter) a cookie sheet. You can also line with a parchment paper or silicone mat. Set aside.
Once the dough has doubled, punch the dough and place it on a working surface , I like to use my pastry mat.
Separate the dough into 2 halves.
Take one half and flatten it out into a rectangle and roll the rectangle into a log.
Once the dough is a log, roll it to have a 12-inch-long rope.
Place on the prepared cookie sheet.
Do the same for the second bread.
Cover and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Baked in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 190 degrees F. The bread will be nice and golden.
How do you keep homemade bread fresh?It's best to store this loaf of Italian bread in an airtight container or plastic bag at room temperature for up to 3 days. Storing homemade bread in the refrigerator causes it to go stale too quickly and heat and/or humidity causes it to mold too quickly.