Top Review by Bruce Benjamin
This is an excellent recipe for muffuletta bread. In fact, I have a double recipe in my oven right now...Really!--- However, this recipe is taken practically word for word from a great cookbook called, "Cajun-Creole Cooking" by Terry Thompson. I believe it was first published in 1986. I don't know if, "Linda" took this recipe from the book or from someone else who took it from the book but I do believe in giving proper credit to the original author.--- As I said, the recipe is very good. I use rapid rise yeast and I make mine in my Kitchen Aid mixer. I first combine the water, yeast and sugar in a separate bowl. In the mixer work bowl I combine the flour, salt and shortening, (This time I used lard) and mix it with the mixer paddle until the fat is cut in thoroughly. I then add the water/yeast and a bring it together with the paddle. I then switch to the dough hook. Sometimes I have to add a few more tablespoons of water to keep it moist. It should just barely pull away from the side of the bowl while it kneads. I let it knead on about speed 3 for 10 minutes. I remove the dough and briefly knead it by hand before shaping it into a smooth round ball. I put the ball into a greased large metal bowl and cover with plastic wrap to double in bulk. Another change/recommendation I would make is that when you punch down the dough and spread it out into a round loaf you make it smaller than 10", maybe more like 9". As it rises it will also spread out to about 10". I gave this recipe 5 stars but I gave those stars to Terry Thompson instead of Linda because Terry is the original. Time to take the bread out of the oven. Yum! It came out perfect, as usual!-- Bruce
- 1 cup warm water (110 F)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast (about 1 tablespoon)
- 3 cups bread flour, approximately
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
- sesame seeds
Directions See How It's Made
- In a 2 cup glass measuring cup, combine water and sugar.
- Stir in yeast. Let stand until foamy, 5-10 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, and check consistency of dough. It should be smooth and satiny.
- If dough is too dry, add more warm water, 1 tablespoon at a time, processing just until blended.
- If dough is too sticky, add more flour, 1 or 2 tablespoons 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 the oiled bowl, and turn dough 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, and turn out onto a lightly floured surface.
- Form dough into a round loaf about 10" in diameter, and place on a greased baking sheet.
- Sprinkle top of loaf with sesame seeds.
- Press seeds gently into surface of loaf.
- Cover very loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise until almost doubled in bulk, 1 hour.
- Place rack in center of oven.
- Preheat oven to 425.
- Remove plastic wrap.
- Bake loaf in center of preheated oven, for 10 minutes.
- Reduce heat to 375, and bake 25 minutes.
- The loaf is done when it sounds hollow when tapped on bottom.
- Cool completely on a rack before slicing.