Italian Hearth Bread

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Recipe photo
Yield: 1 loaf

Recipe photo

Here is one of our favorite single-loaf recipes for this pan. This light, fine-grained loaf makes great garlic bread... or delicious grilled cheese sandwiches! Try fontina, mozzarella, or a combination of Parmesan and mascarpone cheeses. Dipping a mozzarella, garlic and anchovy sandwich in (unsweetened) French toast batter before frying yields the traditional mozzarella en carrozza.

Italian Hearth Bread

star rating (40) rate this recipe »
Yield: 1 loaf
Published: 01/01/2010



Manual/Mixer Method: In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the dough ingredients, mixing till the dough begins to come away from the sides of the bowl. Knead the dough with an electric mixer for 2 minutes; allow it to rest for 15 minutes, then continue kneading it for an additional 5 to 7 minutes, or until it's smooth. Add additional water or flour if needed - the dough should be somewhat sticky. If you're kneading by hand, transfer the dough to a lightly oiled work surface; knead it for 3 minutes; allow it to rest for 15 minutes, then continue kneading till smooth, an additional 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and set it aside to rise for 1 hour; it should just about double in bulk.

Bread Machine Method: Place all of the dough ingredients into the pan of your bread machine, program the machine for Manual or Dough, and press Start. About 10 minutes before the end of the final kneading cycle, adjust the consistency of the dough with additional flour or water; it should be smooth, though still a bit sticky. Allow the machine to complete its cycle.

Lightly grease the bottom part of your covered baker and sprinkle it with cornmeal or semolina. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface, and form it into a smooth, 13-inch log. Place the dough in the pan, cover the pan with its lid, and let the dough rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Check it occasionally to see where it's at; when ready to bake, it should have started to fill the pan side to side, and crowned about 1" over the rim. When it's risen as much as you like, take a very sharp serrated knife and make three diagonal, 1/2"-deep cuts in the loaf.

Place the pan in a cold oven, and set the oven temperature to 425°F. Bake the bread for 30 minutes. Remove the lid from the pan, and bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and its interior temperature measures 190°F on an instant-read thermometer. The bread will bake for a total of about 35 to 40 minutes, starting in a cold oven. However, if your oven preheats slowly, you may find it necessary to allow the bread to bake an additional 10 minutes or so, beyond the suggested 5 to 10 minutes with the lid off.

Remove the bread from the pan, and allow it to cool on a rack. Note: For the crispiest crust, turn the oven off, place the loaf on the middle oven rack, crack the oven door open a couple of inches, and allow the bread to cool in the oven.


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  • star rating 02/11/2015
  • pamelajn1 from KAF Community
  • Fixed the bread last weekend. It was awesome. Can you use the Italian blend flour in this recipe?
    This recipe uses a combination of all purpose flour and semolina - The Italian Style flour will give a different texture/flavor than using that combo. Happy Baking - Irene@KAF
  • star rating 01/06/2015
  • mrmoran from KAF Community
  • Served this with fettuccine Bolognese and a simple salad to rave reviews. I have work to do on my shaping and slashing techniques, but the long bread baker proved to be extremely forgiving of my weaknesses :-) The bread was crusty, moderately hole-ly, and absolutely delicious.
  • star rating 11/20/2014
  • Texas Ed from KAF Community
  • I followed the directions exactly and it loaf came out looking like the picture. I used my mini Z for the dough cycle and put parchment paper as a base in the bowl. I used KAF bread flour instead of KAF all purpose.
  • star rating 10/03/2014
  • Marine C from California
  • I used to like your recipes but I didn't like this one, I followed the instructions but it didn't come as I expected.. Not very puffy, not very moist.. Maybe the dough was too heavy because of the semolina... :( Thanks anyway!
    Be sure the dough is soft and even somewhat sticky for the best texture and rise. We hope you will try again! Elisabeth@KAF
  • 09/14/2014
  • czuccaro from KAF Community
  • What adjustments would you make for high altitude? Would you give it an extra rise?
    We do have high altitude tips on our website! once you're at the recipe page, scroll down and in the middle of the page you'll see On-line Baking Resources - High Altitude Baking is one of the titles. If that's not enough info, do give us a call. Happy High Altitude Baking! Irene@KAF
  • star rating 02/28/2014
  • Foodfetish from KAF Community
  • I really appreciate the tips from your expert bakers as well as the comments, reviews & tips from all of the home bakers who have tried this recipe. The first time I tried this recipe in the long baker, I didn't give it enough of a 2nd rise, relying on the time instead of the how much the loaf domed over the pan. It took about 10 extra minutes for the 2nd rise to get it right. The next issue I had on my first try was in slashing the loaf. I didn't expose the loaf to the air prior to slashing it & my loaf deflated a bit. On my second try I paid share full attention to the 2nd rise, made sure to remove the lid of the baker to expose the loaf to the air for 15 minutes before I slashed the loaf, and I also purchased your slashing tool which worked like a charm. It's also important to oil the pan thoroughly and sprinkle the bottom with cornmeal or semolina. I ended up with a beautifully risen loaf with professional looking slash marks that came right out of the baker with ease. The texture and taste are terrific. Thanks to all of the bakers at KAF & the home bakers in the KAF community!
  • star rating 07/21/2012
  • folkfan4ever19304 from KAF Community
  • I baked this bread in the ceramic baker. It has a very nice texture and a nice crispy crunchy crust. Easy to put together, especially in the bread machine. I don't think I oiled the baker enough because it did stick. That was my fault. One thing I would like to ask: is there a tool for scoring the top of the loaves? I have tried regular knives, serrated blades and razor blades and it always pulls and deflates the loaf and doesn't make much of a cut. Any suggestions?
    You may use any of these blades to score the loaf. For a clean slash, allow the loaf to air dry for about 15 minutes before slashing. This will allow for the formation of a very thin crust. For the slash to be "clean" the blade needs this little bit of resistance. Give it a try next time. Frank @ KAF.
  • 05/11/2012
  • serifm from KAF Community
  • Good bread, but my comment has to do with your use of the English language. "where it's at"?????? Really, King Arthur!
  • star rating 03/13/2012
  • carolsapple from KAF Community
  • I made this bread dough in the bread machine and baked it in the oven. The bread was fantastic!
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