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'Tis the Season for Italian Olive Oil Bread

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A perfect (and easy) bread to adorn your festive holiday dinner table!

An incredible internal texture and a fantastic crust are just two of the elements which make this bread one of the world's finest. Easy to prepare (albeit different than most breads) and takes less time than most European breads, Italian Olive Oil Bread will end up being a staple of your bread baking repertoire.

Ingredients needed to make Italian Olive Oil Bread (makes 2 round loaves):

  • 2 tsp. yeast
  • 2 cups warm water
  • ¼ tsp. sugar
  • 4 ¾ cup flour
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

Steps:

  1. In a large bowl whisk together the yeast, ¼ cup of warm water and the sugar. Set the bowl aside 5 minutes for the yeast to proof (foam).
  2. Into the proofed yeast stir 2 cups of flour and ¾ cup of the warm water to form a soft dough. Remove the dough to a floured surface and knead ten minutes.
  3. Place the dough back into the bowl and add the remaining flour, warm water, salt and olive oil. Knead inside the bowl (this will get messy) until the dough comes together. Remove the dough to a floured surface and knead 10 minutes.
  4. Divide the dough in half and form each half into a round loaf.
  5. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Place each round loaf on a pan and let rise 1 hour.
  7. Pre-heat oven to 375.
  8. With a very sharp knife, slash a cross atop each loaf.
  9. Place in oven and bake 45 minutes or until done.
  10. Remove the bread and let cool on a rack.

The new cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards, "Edwardian Cooking: 80 Recipes Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals," is now in its third printing and available worldwide, including the official website for Downton Abbey!

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