Avanti's is an Italian restaurant in Peoria, Illinois and the surrounding area well-known for a great gondola.
My attempt at making Avanti's bread used for their gondolas. I suggest weighing the flour to get an accurate recipe. I thought it was a little better because the bread was fresh from the oven. It had the right amount of sweetness, too.
To make the gondola, slice the bread in half lengthwise and put on mayo, thin ham slices, thin salami slices, American cheese slices, iceberg lettuce. I thought at one time (in the late 70's) there was tomatoes included.
- 3 1/3 cups (423 g) AP unbleached flour
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 5 tbsp white granulated sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tbsp unflavored oil (I use sunflower oil)
- 1 cup water, 110 degrees
- 1 1/4 tsp active dried yeast
- cookie sheet
- large greased glass or plastic bowl
- stand mixer with dough hook, mixing attachment
- cooling rack
Makes two 16 inch x 2 1/4 inch loaves
1. Beat egg in small bowl with oil.
2. Using a mixing attachment, mix salt, sugar, flour, yeast in stand bowl.
3. Mix in egg mixture and water in stand bowl until evenly distributed. Let stand 10 minutes.
4. Switch to the dough hook and knead until thin strands appear (about 10 min). The dough will be moist.
5. Remove bowl and cover with plastic wrap (I use a plate sometimes). Punch a small hole in the top so gases escape. Let rise at room temperature 2 to 3 hours or it has doubled in size.
6. Punch down and let rise another 30 minutes.
7. Divide dough in half and roll into 12" loaves on an oiled cookie sheet. Cover and let rise 1 hour.
8. Place in 350 degrees preheated oven, middle rack, for 20 to 30 minutes or until the middle is 200 degrees.
9. Let loaves sit 5 minutes then move to cool on rack.
Instead of letting dough rise at room temp (step 5), put in refrigerator overnight to rise for a better flavor. You can use less yeast, too (like 3/4 tsp).
The Avanti's gondola is 16" long by 2 1/4" wide and is golden brown on top. It does not have slashes in it.
Next time I will try mixing egg, oil, sugar, salt together with a hand mixer.