Baking with Emeril: Rustic Italian Bread for #SeriousSandwich #6

As faithful readers of this little food blog know, it’s been all sandwiches, all the time during Chef Emeril Lagasse’s #SeriousSandwich Cookalong here at Rhubarb and Honey. But in all this sandwich talk, I haven’t really focused on the bread … and after all, isn’t the bread one of the most important components of a sandwich? At a minimum, it’s a necessary component … and if you have to have it, you might as well make it good.

I took a stab at one of the bread recipes in Emeril’s new cookbook, Emeril’s Kicked-Up Sandwiches: Stacked with Flavor, in hopes of making a really good bread for my final #SeriousSandwich, and that I did.

Rustic Italian Bread

Emeril’s recipe for rustic Italian bread is a great “intro” bread recipe, and while it takes a number of hours to make, the majority of that time is spent allowing the dough to rise … the actual preparation and baking of the dough is pretty simple. The only tip I can give you is to follow the directions exactly; I didn’t allow my dough to knead enough in the stand mixer so it was a touch underworked. I also let my dough rise a bit too long on the second rise, and both of these factors contributed to my final product being a bit flatter than it should have been.

But, on the flavor side? Oh my, we have a winner. This bread had just the right amount of crunch in the crust, and then gave way to a soft, chewy center. It’s a great example of classic “Italian” bread, perfect for any time you’re looking for a crusty seeded loaf for sandwich making … or even if you just want to dip a chunk of chewy bread in olive oil and balsamic vinegar and nosh away!

Want to get the recipe so you can try Emeril’s rustic Italian bread for yourself? Well, Emeril’s Kicked-Up Sandwiches: Stacked with Flavor is officialy on sale so get yourself a copy ASAP! Feeling lucky? Then enter my giveaway … one truly lucky person will win a copy of Emeril’s new cookbook courtesy of William Morrow Cookbooks!

Oh … what’s going to be the final #SeriousSandwich, you ask? Check back on Saturday … I guarantee you’re going to want to head straight to the kitchen and make it as soon as you’re done reading all about Emeril’s take on the classic [fade to black] [insert Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” here].

Want to stay on top of all the #SeriousSandwich action? You can keep track by following all of the participating bloggers, the #SeriousSandwich hashtag on Twitter, and/or our Pinterest board as well. You can also follow Emeril on his website, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Pinterest too.

Until the next #SeriousSandwich …

Full disclosure: For my participation in the #SeriousSandwich Cookalong, I received an advance copy of Emeril’s Kicked-Up Sandwiches cookbook, a jar of Emeril’s Kicked-Up Horseradish Mustard, and Snapware plasticware. Upon completion of the #SeriousSandwich Cookalong, I will receive a $50 grocery reimbursement and a set of Emeril’s cookbooks. However, all of the opinions expressed at Rhubarb and Honey are my own.

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  • Addie K Martin

    Thanks for the tips on the bread! I found my calzone dough to be under-worked as well. It was so springy! Your loaf looks great :)

    • Kimberly

      Thanks! And, yeah, this dough felt firm in the mixer, but when I took it out, it was pretty springy … still working on my bread baking skills!

      • Addie K Martin

        Oh me too! I’ve only begun to scratch the surface with baking…. 😉

  • Lucy

    This book is indeed packed with many great recipes – looking forward to trying the bread recipes! Good work!

    • Kimberly

      Thanks, Lucy!