2-1/2 teaspoons yeast
1-1/4 cups warm water
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 egg yolk
1. In a small bowl add yeast, 2 tablespoons of the water and 1/2 teaspoon of the sugar. Sit aside and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
2. In a large mixing bowl add flour, remaining sugar, salt, yeast mixture and a little water at a time until a dough consistency has formed. Knead for 5 minutes. In a plastic bowl add olive oil. Add dough, covering with the oil into the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit in a warm place for 1-1/2 – 2 hours.
3. Punch dough down and lay into a working surface (non-stick baking mat), shape into a 12×4 inch loaf, do not make thin. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit for 40 more minutes.
4. Pre-heat oven to 400F. In a small bowl add egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of water, mix well. With a pastry brush coat the entire bread with mixture. With a knife carefully cut slits across the top of dough. place bread on a non-stick baking mat on a baking sheet. Place a bowl of water in a heat proof dish and sit on bottom rack.
5. Cook for 30-40 minutes until golden and the bread sounds hollow when knocked on.
Yields: 1 loaf