Italian Bread No. 1
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 packages or 1 ½ tablespoons active dry yeast
About 5 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon butter
1 egg white, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
24 hours ahead: Combine sugar, salt and yeast with 2 cups of the flour. In a saucepan, heat the butter with ¾ cup water until butter almost melts. Cool to lukewarm; beat into flour mixture on medium speed of electric mixer for 2 minutes. Add ½ cup flour. Beat another 2 minutes. Add enough additional flour to make a soft, workable dough. Turn out onto floured surface and knead until smooth and shiny. Divide in half, cover and allow to rest 20 minutes. Grease cookie sheets and sprinkle with cornmeal. Shape dough into desired loaves and place seam side down on cookie sheets. Brush with oil, cover with plastic wrap and chill for 24 hours. Bring to room temperature for 10 minutes. Slash diagonally across top of loaves and brush with egg white mixture. Bake for 20 minutes, brush again with egg white mixture and bake an additional 5 minutes. Will make 2 full sized Italian loaves.
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