Just when you think you have your menu all planned out... BAM! You find out your spoiled little daughter has called her Pop and requested a batch of gnocchi. *sheesh* That's not the man that raised me. He seems to be softening in his old age. Since I really didn't have to cook I decided to bake a loaf of Italian bread. This recipe is outstanding. Today I only made half a recipe, just enough for dinner. I think everyone left the table 10 pounds heavier.
4 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1-1/3 cups warm water
1 tsp salt
1-1/2 tsp olive oil
1 package active dry yeast
1 tbsp water
2 tbsp cornmeal
Place flour, brown sugar, warm water, salt, olive oil and yeast in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough cycle; press Start.
Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Form dough into two loaves. Place the loaves seam side down on a cutting board generously sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover the loaves with a damp cloth and let rise, until doubled in volume about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 ⁰F.
In a small bowl, beat together egg and 1 tablespoon water. Brush the risen loaves with egg mixture. Make a single long, quick cut down the center of the loaves with a sharp knife. Gently shake the cutting board to make sure that the loaves are not sticking. If they stick, use a spatula or pastry knife to loosen. Slide the loaves onto a baking sheet with one quick but careful motion.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until loaves sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.