Best Italian Bread I have ever made

I make the bread about once a week and makes wonderful toast when only lightly toasted.

Italian Altamura Semolina Bread

Dough:
1/2 cup (130 g) sourdough starter
1 cup (230g) warm water
11 ounces (310g) semolina flour
12 ounces (340g) bread flour
2 tsp (10g) dry yeast
2 1/2 tsp (18g) Sea salt
8 ounces (230g) cool water
2 tbsp (30g) extra virgin olive oil
.

Making the Dough:
Add all the ingredients (keeping the salt away from the yeast. Salt will kill the yeast.) to the bowl of a stand mixer and using a dough hook gently mix until the flour is incorporated, and then mix on high speed for 6-7 minutes until the dough leaves the sides of the bowl and is smooth and elastic.

Put the dough in an oiled bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for1 hour. Fold the dough and let rise another 45 minutes.
Oil and dust a 10 inch round baking pan lightly with semolina. Lightly dust top of dough with semolina. Cover the loaf with plastic wrap.
Place oven rack at lower 1/3 of oven. Preheat the oven as hot as possible (450 to 470 degrees F.) while dough rises.

Allow plenty of time for a full proof so the bread will expand.

Remove plastic, make 2 cuts across the top of the bread and put bread into the oven. Close the door as quickly as possible and bake the loaf for about 40 minutes.

The finished loaf should have a golden brown crust that is quite hard immediately after baking.
The 2 cuts should have helped the inside of the dough to expand and push up a little through the crust. There should be a pleasing contrast between the cuts and the semolina-dusted crust. The bread should sound hollow with tapped on top and bottom. Allow the bread to cool on a rack.before slicing or serving.

mmmmm - I love homemade Italian bread…

This seems so yummy-I can’t wait to try it.