Italian Cooking & Language Blog

Fare La Scarpetta means to wipe your plate clean with a piece of bread.

What else could you ask for?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bread Making

Making bread might sound intimidating, but it really isn’t. The good news is that it seems – and tastes – impressive every time.

If you start with a basic recipe, you can tweak it according to your taste and the ingredients you have on hand. I recently followed this Epicurious recipe for Portuguese Farm Bread.

I brushed the resulting loaf with extra virgin olive oil and then added kitchen-garden-grown (although frozen) rosemary, pepper and large salt on top before baking it on a pizza stone. I always toss down a little corn meal on the pizza stone before I place the unbaked, shaped dough on it in the oven. Like with making pizza or calzone, this makes it easier to remove from the pizza stone after it is baked.

The result? A delicious loaf whose slices went well with a pasta dinner to fare la scarpetta the sauce, then for sandwiches the next day for lunch and later for breakfast toast.

Homemade bread doesn’t last as long as store-bought bread, but you can always cook half the dough and then save the other half in the fridge until you’re ready for it a few days later. If that’s still too much for you and your family, you could freeze the left-over dough for another day. 

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