This delicious recipe can be used as bread bowls or used to make small individual loaves of Italian bread.
Keyword bread bowls, breads, Italian bread, Italian bread bowls, yeast bread
Prep Time 30minutes
Cook Time 2hours30minutes
2.25 ounce packages active dry yeast
2 1/2cupswarm water (110 degrees)
2Tablespoonsolive oil or vegetable oil
7cupsbread flour or all purpose flour
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand until foamy and it rises up, this will take about 10 minutes.Add salt, oil and 4 cups flour to the yeast mixture; beat well. Add in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well with an electric mixer at medium speed after each addition. Stop adding flour to the bowl when the dough starts to cling to the beaters. (When I make this my dough never takes the full 7 cups of flour in the mixing bowl. It takes about 5 1/2 cups of flour. I wait until I knead the dough to add more flour to make a soft elastic tacky dough. I also never use the full 7 cups of flour called for, it's more like 6 - 61/2.When the dough has pulled together in the mixer, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, knead enough flour into the dough to make a smooth, elastic, slightly tacky dough, about 6 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes. Punch dough down, and divide into 8 equal portions. Shape each portion into a 4 inch round loaf. Place loaves on lightly greased baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in bulk, about 35 minutes.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). In a small bowl, beat together egg white and 1 tablespoon water; lightly brush the loaves with half the egg wash.Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Brush with remaining egg mixture, and bake 10 to 15 more minutes or until golden.2 Cool on wire racks.To make bowls: Cut a 1/2 inch thick slice from top of each loaf; scoop out centers, leaving 3/4-inch-thick shells. Fill bread bowls with hot soup and serve immediately.