- 1 pkg. dry active yeast, divided
- 1½ cups warm water
- 3¾ to 4½ cups flour, divided
- 1½ tsp. salt
- 2 Tbsp. cornmeal
- Oil to grease bowl
- 1 cup hot water
- In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in ½ cup of warm water. Pour the remaining water into mixer bowl and add 1 cup of the flour and salt. Add the yeast mixture and enough flour to form a soft dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes.
- Grease a large bowl with oil and drop the dough in, turning to coat the top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until double in size, about 45 minutes.
- Punch the dough down and divide it in half. On a lightly floured surface, knead each half several times and roll into a snake, about 18 inches long. Pinch out any air bubbles, then place the snakes on a cookie sheet coated with cornmeal. Cover and let rise for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place a metal pan on the bottom rack and pour 1 cup of hot water into the pan (this will create steam to give your bread a crunchy crust). Make 4 diagonal ¼-inch cuts in the top of each loaf.
- Bake for 20-23 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
Equipment you will need: measuring cups and spoons, bowls, mixer bowl, mixer, plastic wrap, cookie sheet, metal baking pan and a knife.