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1 cwarm water (110 degrees)
1 Tbspactive dry yeast (about 1 tbsp.)
3 cbread flour
1 1/2 tspsalt
2 Tbspvegetable shortening
How to Make Muffaletta Bread
- In a 2-cup glass measuring cup, combine water and sugar. Stir in yeast.
- Let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes.
- In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine 3 cups flour, salt and shortening. Add yeast mixture.
- Process until dough forms a ball, about 5 seconds.
- Stop machine; check consistency of dough. It should be smooth and satiny.
- If dough is too dry, add more warm water, 1 Tbsp. at a time, processing just until blended.
- If dough is too sticky, add more flour, 1 or 2 Tbsp at a time, processing just until blended.
- Process 20 seconds to knead.
- Lightly oil a large bowl, swirling to coat bottom and sides.
- Place dough in oiled bowl; turn to coat all sides.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Lightly grease a baking sheet.
- When dough has doubled in bulk, punch down dough; turn out onto a lightly floured surface.
- Form dough into round loaf about 10 inches in diameter; place on greased baking sheet.
- Sprinkle top of loaf with sesame seeds; press seeds gently into surface of loaf.
- Cover very loosely with plastic wrap; let rise until almost doubled in bulk, 1 hour.
- Remove plastic wrap. Place rack in center of oven.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Bake loaf in center of preheated oven for 10 minutes.
- Reduce heat to 375 F; bake 25 minutes.
- The loaf is done when it sounds hollow when tapped on bottom. Cool completely on a rack before slicing. Makes 1 loaf.