Stand Mixer Italian Bread

Stand Mixer Italian Bread on The Creekside CookI have to be honest and tell you that I would love a do-over for this year so far. It’s been a difficult one, to say the least. I’ll get into some of it in posts to come probably.

But – I’m looking forward now, and this recipe is a good place to begin. It’s from my old blog actually, but a year-round treat that we always enjoy. The fact that it is dead easy doesn’t hurt either.

Making bread can seem daunting if it’s not been your thing before, but the more you do it, the easier it becomes. I grew up in a bread making family – both my Mom and her Mom went through periods when they made all of their own bread. I learned how to knead from them – how long, the best way to do it, how to tell when it’s ready.

What’s that you say? Your mom didn’t teach you how to knead homemade bread?

Not to worry – if you have a stand mixer, you don’t have to worry about kneading, because the mixer does all the work! Sweet, huh?

To tell you the truth, I rarely knead any bread by hand anymore, though some are more difficult to judge than others, as to how much is enough. I’m going to take the guesswork out of it for you though – this is a simple method, and one that has never failed me.

And because someone always asks – this recipe is perfected specifically for a large stand mixer, like a Cuisinart [which is the one I have] or a KitchenAid. A hand mixer will likely not be powerful enough to get the dough kneaded properly. You can, of course make this bread by hand, but it will take considerably more effort. Just mix it like crazy after the first addition of flour, and then when all of the flour is mixed in, turn it out on a floured board and knead the heck out of it. if you have a stand mixer though, this is the way to go!

Stand Mixer Italian Bread
Author:
Recipe type: Yeast Breads
Serves: 1 large loaf.
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 1 and ¼ c very warm water
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 cups all purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 & ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • water for brushing/spraying
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of the mixer, combine the water, yeast and sugar - stir lightly with a fork. It need not be totally combined. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  2. After 5 minutes the mixtures should look a bit bubbly. Add 3 cups of flour and the salt.
  3. Fit the mixer with the dough hook and at low speed, mix in the flour and salt, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  4. When the mixture is uniform, set the mixer to medium low and beat for 2 minutes.
  5. Turn off the mixer, and allow the mixture to rest for 20 minutes.
  6. After twenty minutes, turn the mixer back to low, and add the remaining cup of flour, ¼ cup at a time, mixing until completely incorporated each time. The dough should be fairly smooth at this point, and not sticking to the sides of the bowl at all - if it is still wet and shaggy, you need to add a bit more flour - another ¼ cup should do it.
  7. Once you have a fairly smooth dough that has come away from the sides of the bowl, set the mixer to medium speed, and knead for 8 minutes. This is the equivalent of about 20 minutes of kneading by hand, which is longer than I would knead a single loaf of sandwich type bread - it helps ensure a nice chewy texture though.
  8. Remove the dough from the bowl, and oil the bowl liberally, to prevent sticking. Put the dough back in, turn it a few times to coat it completely and cover with a piece of plastic wrap.
  9. Allow to rise for an hour, until doubled in size.
  10. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and shape into an oblong loaf, like this:Shaping Stand Mixer Italian Bread on The Creekside Cook
  11. Line a heavy baking sheet with parchment paper, and sprinkle it generously with cornmeal.
  12. Place the loaf in the middle of the baking sheet, and spray or brush lightly with water. I use a small spray bottle for this, as it is quicker and easier - you are going to do it a couple times during baking as well.
  13. Allow to rise for about 40.
  14. After 40 minutes of rising time, preheat the oven to 400ΒΊ, allowing it to come fully up to that temperature. Place a flat pan with sides a couple inches high on the bottom rack, and fill with boiling water.
  15. Spray the bread with water again, making sure to wet the entire outside. Use a razor blade or very sharp knife to make diagonal slashes along the top of the loaf.
  16. Place the sheet pan in the oven, on the upper rack.
  17. Total baking time is about 30 minutes - spray the loaf with water after 10 minutes, and again 10 minutes after that. You can check for doneness with an instant read thermometer if you like - it will read right around 200 when the bread is done, or bake it until it is well browned all over, and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  18. Remove to cool on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes - the bread can be cooled fully and wrapped to eat later, or you can slice it up and dive right in.

There you go – pefect, and perfectly easy!Slices of Stand Mixer Italian Bread on The Creekside Cook

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Donalyn/The Creekside Cook

25 thoughts on “Stand Mixer Italian Bread

  1. I’ve missed you! Sorry you’re having such a tough year. Anyway, we love baking our own bread — so much better than what you buy. But a stand mixer really is the only way to go. This looks terrific — thanks.

      • well it is in the last rise period now….I have done kitchenaid mixer bread for a while and they come out nice….my wife wanted Italian bread so this is my first try at it
        ….so far so good….also..l she loves garlic and onion …so I minced a few cloves and maybe a quarter of an onion and mixed it in..should be done in 2 hrs. or so

  2. I have missed seeing your posts!! I’m so sorry to hear that things have been difficult, but glad that you are getting back to posting again. I love how crusty this bread looks and the idea of using a spray bottle to wet it to get that crust. So smart!

  3. I just received a KitchenAid stand mixer for Christmas and I didn’t even wait a day before I busted it out and tried this recipe πŸ™‚ My bread turned out fabulous, so thank you for the great direction! One question I have is how I could get the bread a little crustier on the outside. I didn’t have a spray bottle so I used a pastry brush to wet the bread throughout baking. I loved how soft it made the bread but for variation in the future it would be great to know how to get a nice crust.

    Thanks again!

    • Hi Stephanie – so glad you broke in your new mixer with my recipe! Getting a crustier crust with this simple of a recipe is not so easy. The bread you might buy at a bakery is probably the result of a much wetter dough, risen over a couple days’ time probably and then baked in a steam injection oven [maybe on your Christmas list for next year, LOL!]. We can mimic that by repeatedly wetting the loaf as it rises and bakes, so you can do it a few more times than the recipe calls for, which will help. A pan half filled with boiling water can be placed on the oven rack under the bread as it bakes – this will increase the crustiness a bit as well.

      Make sure you cool the bread completely before packaging it up – any heat will turn into moisture in the bag, which will soften the crust. In fact, I often store breads like uncovered if I’m baking the day before – the crust will harden up a little more, but the inside will stay soft for a day. All the best in the New Year!

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  6. Margaret McInnes

    A brilliant success. I’ve never made such successful bread and so easily in my mixer. Living in France, I managed to find a comprehensive conversion table for US cup measure. However, you write 1 and a quarter ” c ” very warm water. Do you mean cups?. Also, normally recipes indicate tepid water so that it doesn’t kill the yeast. How does Very hot water work.

  7. Hi – I made your Stand Mixer Italian Bread. It is absolutely delicious, however, my bread kind of sunk in the oven and I have a, not flat, but not a nice round bread like you show. What did I do wrong? I thought I followed all the instructions to the letter. I got your recipe off of pinterest.

    • Hi Phyllis – not sure what might have gone wrong – too long a raise would do that, of not quite enough flour. Baking with yeast is not an exact thing, as there are always variations in the ingredients. I’m glad that it still tasted good.

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