Pam made several of her Rustic Spanish Bread Loaves now and we’re currently waiting for it to cool down sufficiently to flavor it. It sure looks good and if the taste is anything like the looks it should be fabulous. I am seriously considering making some dipping oil to use with the bread. Here is the recipe that she used to make her bread. If nothing else, it should go well with this day’s meal of spaghetti and meat balls.
2 3/4 cups water
5 teaspoons or 2 packs of active dry yeast
7 cups (2 pounds, 2 1/2 oz ) of bread flour (You can substitute all purpose flour; decrease water to 2 1/2 cups)
1 tbsp of salt
1/4 cup olive oil, preferably extra virgin
Sprinkle the yeast over slightly warm (95 level ) water in a small bowl or measuring cup. Briefly stir it lightly followed by allowing the mixture sit for approximately 10 minutes.
Measure out your flour and put it into a bowl of a kitchen mixer with a dough hook attached. If making by hand, place the flour in a large mixing bowl.
Turn on the mixer, then add salt into the flour, and allow the dough to mix well. Slowly drizzle the olive oil to the flour as the mixer is operating.
Slowly drizzle in the yeast and water mixture, allowing the dough to knead from the machine for four minutes.
If making the dough by hand, combine the flour with the yeast and water mixture using a wooden spoon, then turn the dough out on a floured surface and knead for five minutes.
After kneading, you should have a smooth, springy like dough that pops back lightly when pressed with your finger.
Cover the dough while in the bowl with a piece of waxed paper that has been sprayed with cooking spray with a kitchen towel.
Form the dough into 2 equal-size balls, and place on a 15-inch baking sheet.
Cover the loaves again with waxed paper and a kitchen towel, and let rise a second time for 20-25 minutes or until doubled.
Bake 5 minutes longer to get a crisper crust.