I have tried many recipes, tweaked them, even developed my own. There are several I make regularly.
Why am I talking bread? Many folks who have read Willowtree noticed the food theme, and have suggested I put recipes in my future books. Some have asked specifically about the bread. I am thinking of adding a recipe or two, maybe at the end of the Bruce DelReno book I am now working on. Maybe I'll put in one of my favorite bread recipes, though I never got close to duplicating Joe's.
Let's call it DELRENO'S OLIVE OIL BREAD It is a soft, light bread, good by itself, toasted, or sopping up Sunday gravy.
1 1/2 TBS active dry yeast
2 CUPS warm water (at about 110 degrees)
2 TSP salt, (sea salt if you have it)
6 TBS olive oil
1 TSP sugar
5 CUPS all purpose flour (4 1/2 WHITE, 1/2 WHOLE WHEAT, or all white)
EXTRA Oil and Salt for crust
1 500 mg Vitamin C tablet, crushed. (Optional, will act as preservative and bread will stay fresh longer.)
In a large bowl mix the yeast, sugar, salt, vitamin C, oil, and water.
Stir in 4 cups flour ( 3 1/2 white and 1/2 whole wheat)
Put onto floured surface and knead in another cup of flour.
Put in oiled bowl, turn to coat; cover with wet towel.
Let rise until doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Punch down, cut into 2 or 3 equal parts. form into 2 or 3 round balls, dusting with flour to work more easily.
Spray 2 or 3 pie pans with cooking oil, and sprinkle corn meal.
Put loaves in pans. Cover, and let rise to double (about 1 hour)
Pre- heat oven to 400. Place a sheet pan with 2 or 3 cups of water on the bottom of the oven. Steam will make a crispier crust. Alternately, spray the loaves with water several times during baking.
Cut 3 slits across top of loaves with a sharp knife or razor, not deep. Brush top with oil and sprinkle with salt. Optionally, sprinkle tops with sesame or poppy seeds.
Bake until internal temp is 200 degrees. About 25 to 30 minutes. Crust will be light brown and it will make a hollow sound if you tap on the bottom.
Cool on wire racks.