Here it is folks, the recipe you all have been waiting for, Avanti’s Gondola! There is a famous restaurant that started in Normal Illinois, by the Illinois State Campus in 1971. When they first opened I was 12 years old. I remember the first time I ever tried their famous bread, it looks like a regular hoagie roll, but when you bite into it, your tastebuds just explode with sweet, warm, chewy goodness! I have finally found the recipe to share on my blog. I came across it from a woman named Mary Scheffert. I can’t thank you enough Mary, for finally being able to fulfill my cravings, anytime I want, for this famous Gondola! It honestly tastes just like the original. This recipe makes 8 loaves of bread, and if you think its to many, think again! You just freeze what you don’t eat, and pull one out, whenever you are craving one of these delicious sandwiches. This is the only other time I have actually made homemade bread in my life, besides the Artisan Bread on my site. This one is so easy, you will want to try it this weekend. The hardest part is waiting for it to rise, and smelling this heavenly bread. All you need is a large bowl, a spoon, and your hands! This sandwich is made with Salami, ham, American cheese, iceberg lettuce, and miracle whip. Pete and I also love to make hot ham and cheese with this bread. For those of you lucky people that grew up on this sandwich, let me know what you think after you make this. For those of you that have never heard of it, I highly recommend this sweet and savory sandwich. You will never want to make another loaf of bread again! This bread is good just right out of the oven, with some fresh butter. I have also made pizza bread with the recipe. You just add some homemade Marinara or jar is fine, add some fresh Parmesan and Mozzarella and broil on low in the oven. I’m so happy to share this recipe with you all, let me know the first time you went to Avanti’s and what you ate. Thanks as always for taking the time to read my blog, love, Stacey
For the bread:
makes 8 loaves
2 packages active dry yeast or 4 1/2 tsp
3 cups warm water
3 Tbs oil and extra for the bowl
3 eggs beaten
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
10 cups flour
Dissolve yeast in warm water; add remaining ingredients, stir altogether with a spoon, and knead for approximately 10 minutes, or until dough is smooth & elastic.
Pour 2 Tbs oil in a large bowl and rub all over. Place dough in the bowl, turning once to bring greased side up.
Cover with a cloth & let rise in a warm, draft free spot until dough has doubled in bulk (1 1/2 to 2 hours).
After first rising, punch dough down in bowl & turn over; let rise again until double (30-45 minutes).
Cut dough in bowl into 8 portions, each about the size of a grapefruit.
Let rise, covered for 10 minutes.
Take dough out of bowl and flatten each portion by pressing out all the air, and form into long loaves, about 12″long.
Place loaves on 4 greased and floured cookie sheets; cover and let rise again (50-60 minutes).
Preheat oven to 350F
Bake loaves for 20-25 minutes, until tops are golden brown & loaves sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
After bread has cooled make your favorite sandwich.
For the Gondola, for one 12 inch sandwich.
1/4 pound of salami sliced
1/4 pound of ham sliced
2 slices of American Cheese
2 pieces of iceberg lettuce
Spread bread with miracle whip or you favorite sandwich spread. If you like more meat, add more!