Ingredients For Muffaletta Bread (1 loaf)
- 1 cup warm water (110 degrees)
- 1 tbsp. of sugar
- 1 package active dry yeast (about 1 tbsp)
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp vegetable shortening
- Sesame seeds
Making The Dough
- Combine water and sugar in a 2-cup glass measuring cup. Stir in the yeast. Let it stand until it becomes foamy, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Combine 3 cups of flour in a food processor fitted with steel blades, add salt and shortening.
- Add the foamy yeast mixture and process until the dough forms a ball (app. 5 seconds).
- Stop the machine and check the consistency of the dough. It should be smooth and satiny. If the dough is too dry, add more warm water, 1 tbsp. at a time, and proces just until blended. If the dough is too sticky, add a bit more flour, 1 or 2 tbsp at a time, processing just until blended.
- Process 20 seconds to knead.
Preparing For Baking
- Lightly oil a large bowl, swirling to coat the bottom and sides. Place the dough in your oiled bowl and turn it to coat all sides.
- Cover your bowl with a plastic wrap to let the dough rise. Place it in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk (app 1 1/2 hours).
- Lightly grease a baking sheet. When the dough has doubled in bulk, you punch it down and lightly flour its surface.
- Form the dough into a round loaf about 10 inches in diameter and place it on a greased baking sheet.
- Sprinkle the top of the loaf with sesame seeds and press them gently into the surface of the loaf.
- Cover the dough very loosely with plastic wrap and let it rise until it is almost doubled in bulk (app. 1 hour).
- Preheat your oven to 425°F.
Baking The Muffaletta Bread
- Place a rack in the center of your oven.
- Remove the plastic wrap and place your loaf in the center of your preheated oven for about 10 minutes.
- Now reduce the heat to 375°F and bake your loaf for about 25 minutes.
- The loaf is done when it sounds hollow when you tap on the bottom.
- Let it cool completely before you start slicing it.
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