Crusty Italian Bread



I think my mom used to bake at least four tender loaves at once, and it didn't last long. Bread was served with every Italian meal. I like it toasted too.

* Ingredients :

° 1 1/3 cup warm water
° 2 1/4 teaspoon yeast
° 1 tablespoon brown sugar
° 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
° 1 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
° 4 cups of flour

* Directions : 

1- Put the warm water, yeast and brown sugar in a mixing bowl. Stir and let it stand for a few minutes until it starts to form bubbles and foam a little.
2- Add olive oil and salt. Mix and add flour gradually. You want to add just enough so that the dough sticks out from the sides of the bowl. You want to mix it up with the dough hook for a few minutes.
3- Cover the dough and leave it to rise until doubled, for 30 minutes.
Beat the dough, divide it into two parts and shape into two loaves (I doubled the recipe this time).

4- Cover with a damp cloth and leave until doubled.
5- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
beat together:
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
Brush the loaves of bread with eggs
 Mixture.
Make one long, quick cut in the middle of the loaf with a sharp knife.
Now that's the secret. Put at least 1 cup of hot water in a shallow pan and set it on the rack under the bread. The steam will make the crust turn out perfectly. You may need to add a little water while cooking. You don't want her to evaporate.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until loaves are golden brown and hollow when tapped.
Remove from pan and let cool on racks. I always like to rub butter on the hot crust!

Enjoy!