Rustic Italian Bread

Every time I mention bread making to my sister, she would always remind me of that freakish but talented bread maker from Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential who phoned in and screamed: "Feed the b***h ...". If you haven't read that book yet, go get it now! Your life as a foodie will be changed forever.

I came close to experiencing that kind of anxiety a couple of times when making this Rustic Italian Bread. The process is sooooooo looooooong that I wouldn't recommend it to anyone except the bread making fanatics. The recipe can be found here from Teri's Kitchen.

The first time was when I had to wait for the preferment to rise and fall. We had to leave the house for dance practice and I wondered if the dough needed a baby-sitter. What if it over-rise? What if it over-deflat? What if ... ?

Nothing of that sort happened while I was gone. The dough had risen but yet to fall so I even left it out overnight on the kitchen counter.

The second time was after mixing the final dough, the recipe calls for 3 hours of resting before shaping. I desperately need a power nap, but the dough is sitting on the counter. I wondered if the dough needed a baby-sitter again. What if it over-rise? What if it become deflated? What if ... ?

As if my life isn't stressful enough as it is. I had to do it to myself.

The bread was worth definitely worth the effort (and worry). The taste is so different from those that I have turned out. Complex and with a tinge of sourness. The crumb was soft and chewy with uneven large air pockets throughout the bread. The crust was crunchy and sturdy enough to whack a person out cold.

Ahh ... I'm in bread heaven.


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