- Portion size 4 servings
- 1 pinch granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2/3 cups warm water
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C).
Sponge: In bowl, stir yeast into warm water until dissolved; stir in flour until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 12 hours or for up to 24 hours.
Dough: In bowl of electric mixer, dissolve sugar in warm water. Sprinkle in yeast; let stand for 10 minutes or until frothy. Using dough hook on low speed, stir in sponge, milk and oil until combined. Add flour and salt; mix on low speed for 8 minutes, scraping down bowl halfway through.
Turn out dough onto well-floured surface; knead lightly into ball. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease all over. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise in warm draft-free place until doubled in bulk and bubbles appear on surface, about 1-1/2 hours.
Scrape dough out of bowl onto lightly floured surface; divide into half. With floured hands, gently form each into cylinder, pinching seam to seal. Pull each out to 9- x 4-inch (23 x 10 cm) rectangle. Place each, seam side up, on well-floured tea towel. Cover with damp tea towel; let rise until not quite doubled in bulk and bubbles appear on surface, about 1-1/2 hours.
Flip rectangles gently over onto two floured baking sheets. Spray with water. Bake on bottom third and middle racks of oven for 10 minutes. Switch position of sheets; spray with water. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes longer or until golden brown and bread sounds hollow when tapped on bottom. Let cool on racks.