Homemade bread is one of life’s gifts. There is nothing like the aroma of bread baking , the sensation of breaking open a crusty roll, slathering it with butter and then taking that first bite with your teeth crunching through the crust into the soft interior. Oh, my gosh, my mouth is watering at just the thought of it!
I have been baking bread a long time. I have many cookbooks dedicated to bread. Recipes that take days to prepare sometimes, even growing your own yeast from the bacteria present in the air!
This is NOT one of those recipes. This is truly a foolproof, quick (on the scale of breadmaking) recipe that produces one large crusty loaf of bread or about 20 crusty rolls great for individual servings or sandwiches.
I used this bread in my Breakfast Casserole recipe and my sister used it in her French Bread casserole recipe. It held up well in both recipes, adding to their success.
I strongly advise you to try this one. Your family will adore you for it!
Foolproof Crusty Bread or Rolls
This is a delicious and simple bread recipe that produces crusty, chewy bread. Adapted from Italian Bread from Emeril Lagasse on the Food Network.
Place the warm water and yeast in the bowl of an electric or stand mixer and allow the yeast to bloom for about 5 minutes. Using a dough hook, add the flour and sugar to the water and mix on low speed until the dough starts to form. Drizzle the oil and the salt into the dough and beat on medium speed for 8 to 10 minutes (or knead the dough by hand) until a smooth, firm, elastic dough is formed.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and spray the dough with a thin coating of cooking spray. Wrap the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to proof in a warm, draft-free place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size.
Remove the plastic wrap, punch down and flatten the dough with the heel of your hand. For rolls, divide the dough into eighths, fold each section like into thirds like a letter to fit in an envelope, then fold again in half and seal the seam to form a long thin roll. Seal the ends of the dough, rolling further to form to even out the shape. Place the rolls on a parchment paper on a baker’s peel or an upside down baking sheet.
Preheat the oven to 425 F with a pizza stone or upside down baking sheet on the bottom shelf.
Allow the dough to proof, loosely covered with a towel, for 30 minutes. If you want, brush the rolls with egg white and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Using a razor blade or sharp knife, score slashes across the top of the dough.
Spray the dough generously with water from a water bottle and place in the oven on the baking stone/baking sheet. Immediately close the oven and bake for 3 minutes. Spray the dough again and again quickly close the oven door. Repeat a third time after three minutes. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a hollow thud is heard when the roll is tapped with a knuckle. Allow the bread to cool slightly before serving.
Store extra rolls in a paper bag to retain crispness or freeze them if you are not going to use them in a day or two.