I’ve been remiss-no posts during the Christmas holiday! I had too much fun eating with my family. There will be no cookie posts for a while, I’m all cookied out! I really like making bread a lot more than cookies. I haven’t bought a loaf of bread in over 2 years! I have 2 starters in my fridge, one for white sourdough (it’s 200 years old) and one for rye bread or multi grain sourdough, thanks for both Kathy! I have a passion for the No Knead bread recipe from the Sullivan Street Bakery, but that’s another blog!
This recipe is good for beginners. It’s pretty simple, doesn’t take too long and looks and tastes fabulous! It will be easier if you have the Easy Roll Improver and the Bread Shine, but it’s not necessary. This bread is great with butter or dipped in olive oil and it’s also wonderful toasted. It won’t stay crisp after the first day (if it’s around that long)but it will stay fresh and you can always toast it.
Italian Sesame Bread
3 3/4 c. European Style Artisan Bread Flour (King Arthur) or
1 T. Easy Roll Dough Improver (King Arthur) (optional)
2 t. instant yeast
1 1/2 t. salt
2 T. olive oil
1 c. plus 2-4 T. water
3 T. toasted sesame seeds
Bread Shine Spray (King Arthur) or 1 beaten egg white
Mix and knead all of the dough ingredients-by hand, stand mixer, bread machine or food processor-until you’ve made a smooth, elastic dough. Place in a lightly greased bowl, turn to coat, cover and allow to rise 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
Gently deflate dough, divide into 3 equal pieces, each will weigh about 9 1/4 oz. Roll each piece into a 20 inch rope, tapering the ends. Place the logs on a lightly greased or silpat or parchment lined baking sheet. Braid them loosely, pinch the ends together and tuck them under.
Spray with bread shine or brush with egg white. Cover and allow to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until almost double in bulk.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray or brush the bread again and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Bake the bread for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.
1. When making the braids it’s easier to lay the rolls side by side and braid from the center towards the ends and then tuck the ends under.
2. If the bread browns too quickly, tent it with aluminum foil after 15 minutes. Enjoy!