Italian Bread Baked on a Clay Baking Stone
3 cups bread flour
1 Tbsp. light brown sugar
1 1/3 cups water
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 (0.25 oz.) pkg. active dry yeast
3 tsp. vital wheat gluten flour, optional*
1 egg, for wash
1 Tbsp. water
Cornmeal for dusting
Place bread ingredients in the pan of your bread maker in the order recommended by the manufacturer.
Select the "Dough" cycle and press "Start."
Once cycle is complete, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and form into an elongated loaf.
Place, seam side down, onto a Silpat or parchment paper which has been sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover and let rise until doubled in volume, about 45 minutes.
Place a baking stone (pizza stone, if you have one) in the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F about 30 minutes before baking time.
Mix the egg and water together.
Make a long shallow cut along the top of the bread with a sharp knife and brush with the egg wash.
Carefully lift the silpat or parchment and place on the hot stone.
Bake loaf in the preheated oven for approx. 30 minutes or until it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
My oven has a speed bake option which browns the bread nicely and decreases the baking time.
For a crustier loaf, spritz the loaf with water every 10 minutes, and/or place a pan of hot water in the bottom of your oven. Makes a 2 lb. loaf
Pairs Well With
*Tip: Vital wheat gluten flour helps retain the gas and steam from baking and gives more volume to the baked bread. Especially helpful for baking breads made with coarse, whole grain flours and cereals. Reynolds Parchment Paper makes transferring your loaf for baking easy.