Am I the last BBA‘r to make Italian bread? I feel like I am! I’ve been seeing Kaiser rolls and Lavash crackers pop up on all the BBA blogs lately and I’m still stuck on Italian bread! I put it off because the last bread I made was the French bread and this one seemed almost exactly the same to me.

It was a 2 day bread (aren’t they all?!) which is another reason it took me so long to make it. On more than one occasion I’ve opened the book, saw that I needed to make a biga (just flour, yeast, & water kneading together and rested over night) and promptly closed the book.

Don’t ever show up on my doorstep looking for parchment. I buy it twice a year and run out within a week.

There was nothing difficult about the bread. I did have some trouble shaping it into torpedos if you can’t tell but that’s because I’m impatient not because it was a tricky dough.

And this is where I complain about hearth baking:

I just don’t get it. Hearth baking (a steam pan under the bread & spraying the sides of oven with water) is Annoying. Yes, with a capital A. I’ve made a lot of bread in my short baking life and I can’t tell the difference between a bread baked with a steam pan under it and one baked without. But when Peter Reinhart tells me to do it, I do it just in case this is the one bread that will be messed up if I don’t.

These little rolls make the best sandwiches. They’re so soft on the inside and the crust is deliciously chewy. I still can’t tell the difference between it and the French bread so I think one day I’ll have to make them both and do a side by side comparison.

As usual, if you’re interested in the book check it out here and make sure you visit the BBA blogroll to see what all the other bakers have been up to.

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