Mama D's Italian Bread Recipe Reviews - Allrecipes.com (Pg. 3)
Reviewed: Jan. 5, 2014
1.5.14 - Made this bread for bruschetta. I completely forgot to add salt, but I still have high hopes for it! It just came out of the oven, and the loaves are HUGE! I usually can't get this much rise out of bread. (All rises were done in an oven that had baked muffins not too long before.) Per Gray: Coat with oil, place in a bowl, cover and let rise until doubled. INSTEAD OF KNEADING THE LIVING TAR OUT OF THE DOUGH, gently but firmly smoosh the dough out, fold in thirds and press with your palm, fold in thirds and press, fold in thirds and press. Form a ball, coat, cover, and let rise again. Divide into two or three loaves (we prefer two larger loaves), fold and press again and shape for final rise. Score the loaves, spritz 'em with water, and slide 'em on into the oven. Pour some water into a preheated pan under the loaves for steam and quickly shut the door (no need for opening and spritzing!). A baking stone REALLY helps with the crust texture. I also love using those perforated "professional" loaf pans (sans cornmeal, of course). Per LDALLAS: First rise: 1 hr in oven with only light on Second rise: 30 min, same conditions Loaf rise: 30 min, same conditions Then preheat oven and bake at 450F for approx. 20 min.
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Reviewed: Jan. 1, 2014
Easy and delicious. I followed the recipe exactly but not the baking instructions. I sprayed with water every three minutes for the first 10 minutes and then baked for an additional 25 at 425 with a bowl of water in the oven. After that I did not turn the bread or wet anymore. The bread was moist, the crust was crunchy and it was outstanding overall. As with any bread, it's time consuming. Perfect for a day at home.
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

Home Town: Freehold, New Jersey, USA
Living In: Milltown, New Jersey, USA

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Reviewed: Dec. 8, 2013
Loved it! Made it for a party and received great reviews. I followed the directions to the letter except that I fudged on the time needed. When operating on a time crunch, waiting for the dough to rise THREE times is a little painful. However, all's well that ends well and guests loved it! I made three loaves of different sizes, large medium, small and they all came out beautifully. The dough is a little difficult to work with because it's sticky, but all in all, great recipe!
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Reviewed: Dec. 7, 2013
Ok here is the low down! Read the most helpful as it will really make a difference. Secondly don't forget the dipping sauce whether it be evoo and balsamic vinegar or a meat sauce that is left over from the World's Best Lasagna recipe. Again read the most helpful reviews as the directions are aloft.
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Cooking Level: Expert

Reviewed: Nov. 12, 2013
The first time I made the bread I had a couple of different issues - old yeast and I didn't wait long enough for the loaves to rise. The second time I followed the instructions of some of the other reviewers and got GREAT results! Here's what I did that worked well for me: Heated 3 cups of water until it was 110 degrees with an instant-read thermometer. Dissolved the sugar and yeast thoroughly and waited. the first time I got very little bubbling after 15 minutes, but assumed any bubbling was good so I went with it - which was a mistake. The second time I used new yeast and it was foamy within 5 minutes. For the flour, I used Caputo "00" flour. The 2.2 lb bag was PERFECT as I used exactly that much for the recipe by the end of it. 4 Cups into the KitchenAid stand mixer with the paddle attachment, along with the water. I let it mix on #2 until it looked like pancake batter and then let it sit for 15 minutes. I kept the paddle on and beat in the salt and 2-1/2 cups of flour at #2 until it was all mixed together (scraping the sides of the mixing bowl occasionally). Replaced the paddle for the dough hook and then added in the last 1/2 cup of flour. Locked down the mixer and kneaded on #2 until it looked smooth and wasn't sticking to the sides anymore. I think I let it knead for about 5 - 7 minutes. Etc... etc... Most important tip... WAIT for the loaves to rise! Touch them lightly with finger - if they spring back, not risen enough. If they stay indented - bake!
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Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Boston, Massachusetts, USA

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Reviewed: Oct. 28, 2013
I've used this recipe before. The bread is yummy. The direction are not specific enough i.e. # 5 how long do you let it rise. # 6 about how long do you let it bake ????
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Reviewed: Oct. 21, 2013
Agreed on the directions being kind of strange. I cut the recipe down to 2 loaves. I only let it rise once before forming loaves, and couldn't let it quite rise for another hour due to time constraints. I took the advice of many here and put a pan of water in with the bread. I also used a pizza stone to cook the loaves on. The bread turned out more dark brown than golden, so I think I will cook it at a lower temperature for a little longer. Very good recipe though. My friends who have spent considerable amounts of time in Europe absolutely loved this bread (and talked about how much it was like the bread they had over there).
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Cooking Level: Intermediate

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Reviewed: Sep. 1, 2013
I have made this recipe twice now and have to say its a great basic italian bread. I put Garlic powder 1 tbls. And 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese in the second batch. You put it in after the 4 cups of flour. Wow was it great!
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Reviewed: Aug. 7, 2013
I have used this recipe several times and I love it very much. The loaves always turn out great.
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Reviewed: May 20, 2013
Easy and delicious. Bread was crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Did not have a bottle to mist with, so I lightly sprinkled water before baking and put a pan of water in the bottom of the oven. As stated in other reviews, I needed approx. 2 cups additional flour to stiffen the dough. Loved this bread!!
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