The perfect loaf – crunchy on the outside and soft and fluffy inside. Makes great sandwiches!
2.5 cups lukewarm water
6.5 cups flour for bread+ 1/2 cup for kneading
2 Tablespoon instant yeast
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Egg white, unbeaten for brushing
Pour water into a mixer bowl. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, instant yeast, salt and sugar. Using a half of flour mixture start mixing on low speed. Gradually add the rest of the flour, beat until dough is smooth and forms a ball. Place it into a greased bowl, turn once to grease top. Cover and let rise until double.
Turn the dough onto a floured surface, divide into two equal parts and roll each portion into an oblong. Beginning at widest side roll it up tightly. Place loaves on a baking pan lined with parchment paper.
Instead of lining with parchment you can just grease pan and sprinkle with cornmeal. With sharp knife make diagonal cuts, brush each loaf with egg white. Let it rise again until double.
Fill small pan with boiling water and place it on the lowest rack in the oven. Place loaves in cold oven above the pan with boiling water and then set the oven on 450F. Once the oven temperature reached 450F set the timer to 30 minutes. At this point you may put some foil over the loaves to avoid over-browning.
Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.
Instead of making two loaves you can bake just one big loaf.