Rustic Italian Bread

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Appears in Cook's Illustrated January/February 2003

We set out to turn four basic ingredients—flour, water, yeast, and salt—into a chewy, crusty bread that would put supermarket loaves to shame.

SERVESMakes 1 large loaf, about 2 1/2 pounds

TIME1½ hours, plus 15 hours rising and 20 minute resting

Rustic Italian Bread

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS

For a rustic Italian bread recipe with a chewy but tender crumb, crusty but not tough, we used bread flour, which gave our bread height and a thick crust. Biga (a traditional Italian pre-ferment) mixed the day before gave the bread a wheaty...

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