I came up with this recipe in honor of our family as my SuperHero has Italian in him and I have French Canadian in me. Wonderfully flavorful French bread!
(bread machine recipe) Makes 1 ½ pound loaf
1 ½ cup warm water
3 ½ cups unbleached white flour
1 ½ Tbs Italian seasoning
2 Tbs Parmesan cheese
1 Tbs gluten
1 Tbs dough enhancer
1 ½ tsp salt
2 tsp active dry yeast
Place ingredients in bread pan and select dough setting and start. When
dough cycle ends, set a timer and allow the bread to rise another hour.
Open the machine and punch the dough down and let it rise again (still in
the bread machine) for another hour. Turn out onto lightly floured
surface and shape into a smooth round ball, then flatten it with your hands. Place
a clean kitchen towel (NOT terry cloth) in a round wicker basket
that’s at least twice the size of the dough. Dust the towel liberally
with flour. Place the dough in the center of basket, set basket in a
warm place and let dough rise, uncovered, about 45 min. until doubled in
size. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Gently turn dough out of basket upside down
onto a greased baking sheet. (I bake it directly on the stones in my
oven, so I flour the top, put my metal pizza paddle on it and flip it all
over so I can easily slide the bread onto the stone) With a very sharp knife,
carefully slash the top of the dough in a # pattern. Place a small pan on the
floor or bottom shelf of the oven. Add at least
1 cup boiling water to the pan (I just put a cup of water in before I
start preheating the oven). Place dough in oven and bake for 20 min.
Remove from oven and place on cake rack to cool 1 hour before slicing.
To preserve the crisp crust, do not store in plastic wrap or bag.
Bread can be loosely covered or left out for up to two days before it
dries out completely
(really! I’ve tried and that’s true…though it rarely lasts that long!)