Rudy's Italian Bread
- 5 pounds all-purpose flour
- 2 ounces salt (1/4 cup or 4 tablespoons)
- 2 ounces sugar
- 2 ounces shortening
- 2 large egg white
- 1-1/2 quarts water
- 3 ounces yeast
Step 1: In large mixer bowl, combine 5 cups of all-purpose flour, yeast, sugar and salt, mix well. In saucepan, heat water and shortening until warm (110 to 120 degree for dry yeast) (80 degree for fresh yeast); the shortening does not need to melt.
Step 2: Add shortening mixture to flour mixture; beat 3 minutes at medium speed. By hand, gradually stir in remaining flour and enough flour to make a firm dough.
Step 3: Knead on floured surface about 5 minutes. (Dough will be slightly sticky.) Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top.
Step 4: Cover; let rise in warm place until double, about 1 hour. Punch down dough. Divide into 4 evenly pieces.
Step 5: On lightly floured surface, shape each into a round loaf and place into 8 inch round cake pan. Cover; let rise in warm place until almost doubled, about 30 minutes.
Step 6: Spray tops of loaves with water and bake at 400 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes until loaves sound hollow when tapped. Remove from pan and cool. To make glaze, combine 1/4 cup of water with egg whites in small saucepan. Brush on loaves 5 minutes before end of baking.