Rich Italian Bread

Image: Rich Italian Bread.
National Festival of Breads Finalist
Jane Hinrichsen, Cottage Grove, MN

Prep Time: 1 hour
Bake Time: 50 minutes
Yield: Makes 2 large loaves, 24 slices each

Ingredients

6-6 ½ cups King Arthur Bread Flour, divided 
1 package rapid rise yeast 
2 ¼ cups low-fat milk 
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons garlic powder
½ cup finely chopped onion
¾ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
25 pepperoni slices (1.5 ounces), finely chopped (turkey or original)
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano, (no salt added), drain well
1 (2.25-ounce) can sliced black olives, drain well
1 tablespoon cornmeal, divided

Instructions

In large mixer bowl, using paddle attachment, combine 2½ cups flour and yeast.

In microwaveable bowl, heat milk, sugar, oil, salt, Italian seasoning and garlic powder until very warm (120° to 130°F). Add to flour mixture. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Add onion, Parmesan cheese, pepperoni and 1½ cups flour; stir in well-drained tomatoes and olives. Gradually add enough of the remaining 2½ cups flour to make a soft dough. (If tomatoes are not drained well, the dough will be very sticky and extra flour may be needed.)

Knead with dough hook 10 minutes. Cover bowl; let rest 10 minutes.  Sprinkle two 16 x 14-inch baking sheets with cornmeal.   On work surface, divide dough into two equal pieces.   Shape into two round loaves and place on baking sheets. Cover loaves with plastic wrap that has been lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray.  Let rise in warm, draft-free place until double in size, about 45 minutes. Using a fine, sharp serrated knife or baker’s slashing tool, make slashes about 1/8-inch deep, slashing the top in quarters.

Bake in preheated 350°F oven 45 to 50 minutes or until golden brown and its internal temperature registers 204°F on an instant-read thermometer.

Note: Dough may be used for pizza crust, sandwich buns, rolls or soup bowls.   

Makes 2 large loaves, 24 slices each.

Nutrition information per serving: One slice provides approximately 133 calories; 8 g protein; 16 g carbohydrates; 1 g dietary fiber; 4 g fat (1 g saturated); 21 mg cholesterol; 39 mcg folate; 1 mg iron and 435 mg sodium.