I am so excited about this recipe. The warm, crusty bread served hot at nearly every Italian restaurant in NYC? The one I've been wishing I knew how to make? I found it.
This bread is not exactly like the ones I get served at restaurants. It's not as flimsy, not as full of holes. It's so much better. It has a soft center but very crisp edges, and a great, slightly salty taste that makes it perfect for spreading with butter (but not so much so with fruit spreads).
This recipe is so easy to make. If you've never touched a packet of yeast before in your life, you can still make this bread. The dough is super quick to put together (especially if you use a stand mixer, like I did). I completely messed up the two rises - for the first, the loaf rose for about four hours instead of two, and for the second, the loaf was out in the open for about 8 hours before staying in the fridge overnight. Neither of these extremely long rises was intentional (I just wasn't home at the right times), but they ended up working out well, especially since my house was air-conditioned, which makes for longer rises. Some bakers in the group complained about an overly salty loaf; I put in the two teaspoons of salt the recipe calls for and thought that it was salty, but not more than it should be.
Thanks to Anna of Keep it Luce and Renee of The Way to My Family's Heart for being wonderful hosts for this week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe!