Sicilian bread is easy to make, but it does take a little time because it’s a yeast rising bread.
However, there is no need to worry as I give exquisite details. In the end, you will be a pro and will have a new recipe to include in your recipe box.
Sicilian Bread is a go-to bread in our house. I make it quite often for the family and when we are expecting company. Pair it with a hearty supper such as pasta, stews, or soups for a complete meal. It also makes a nice breakfast bread that you can toast and then add some of your favorite toppings.
Ready? Let’s begin.
Recipe By- Heather Earles
This recipe makes two loaves.
Prep Time: 4 hours
Oven Temperature: 400 degrees Fahrenheit
Cooking Time: 40 plus minutes depending on stove type
Ingredients and measurements:
- Active Dry Yeast, 1 Tablespoon, or 1 packet.
- Warm water, 2 1/2 cups.
- Salt, 1 Tablespoon (I use a little less)
- Unbleached all-purpose flour, 5 + cups.
- Olive oil, 1-2 Tablespoons.
- Lard/shortening, enough to cover the bottom of the pan.
- Cornmeal, enough to sprinkle on the bottom of a pan.
- loaf pan, 2 or cookie sheet, 1
- Large bowl, 1
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Kitchen towel
- Cooling Rack
- Take your large bowl and measure 4 1/2 cups of flour into it. Now make a well in the center.
- In your glass measuring container, add 2 1/2 cups of warm water. If you do not have a measuring container that can hold 2 1/2 cups, use a small glass bowl. Once the water is in the bowl, add your packet or 1 Tablespoon of yeast. Let sit for five minutes.
- Now add your 1 Tablespoon of salt. If you prefer less salt, use the desired amount. Stir into the yeast mixture until dissolved.
- When the salt is dissolved, pour the mixture into the center of your flour well.
- Cover and let sit for fifteen minutes. This is called sponging.
- When your twenty minutes is up, remove the towel. You should see little bubbles on the top.
- Start stirring with a fork from the center of the flour and work your way toward the outside until you have a sticky dough.
- From here, keep adding flour and knead your dough until you have a spongy, not sticky, consistency. In other words, when you press on the dough slightly after kneading it, the dough should spring slightly back.
- Add your olive oil on top and roll dough around in it, so the olive oil covers all sides.
- Place a towel over the top and let rise until dough is double in size.
- Once it has risen, make a fist and press down in the middle of the dough to deflate it.
- Place the cover back over the top and let the dough rise again.
- While the dough is rising, you can prepare your pans or cookie sheet. With your fingers or a paper towel, rub lard or shortening on the bottom, and a little up the sides if using loaf pans. Now, sprinkle your cornmeal or flour on the bottom and tip over pans or cookie sheets to remove any excess.
- Next, split the dough in half and shape each piece into an oblong form to fit into two loaf pans or on your cookie sheet.
- Cover one more time and let rise.
- Once desired height is reached, place the pans into your already heated oven.
- Set a cup of water or bowl in the oven if you want a chewy crust.
- Cook for 40 minutes depending on your type of oven or until the bottom is golden and the bread sounds hollow when you flick the top of a loaf with your finger.
- In the picture, you will see two loaves of finished Sicilian Bread. The first one has nothing on it, while the second I have rubbed a little more olive oil on the top to give it a golden hue.
- Let finished bread cool on a wire rack and serve with a homemade soup or fresh with a little butter and honey.