My father got this recipe some 40+ years ago at TWA. Crusty yet chewy outside - melt in your mouth inside. Smear with garlic butter and watch it disappear! I've taken a photo showing the bread in the hand formed foil baking pans, this is the 2nd rise. Final picture is fresh out of the oven.
- Dissolve yeast in very warm water.
- Stir well.
- Let proof for 10 minutes.
- Stir in 2 cups of the flour, sugar and salt until mixture is smooth; gradually beat in enough of the remaining 5 cups flour to make stiff dough.
- (Kitchen Aid is perfect for this).
- Turn out onto lightly floured pastry cloth or board and knead 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic, adding only enough more flour to keep dough from sticking.
- Return to bowl; brush top with soft shortening or oil and cover with clean towel or plastic wrap.
- Let rise till double in bulk in warm place away drafts (approximately 45-60 minutes).
- Punch dough down; cover; let rise again for 30 minutes (again in warm place away from drafts) or until double in bulk.
- While dough rises, make boat shaped baking pans as follows:.
- Tear off 3 twenty-inch-long sheets of heavy aluminum foil.
- Fold in sides of foil approximately 1"-1 1/2" on all 4 sides to form baking pan, this will allow the bread to rise up and not spread out into a flat shaped loaf by folding the short ends together to seal, pressing thumb inside to round slightly (shape into boat)with shortest ends slightly rounded.
- Spray with PAM and sprinkle lightly with corn meal.
- Punch dough down, knead 1 minute on lightly floured pastry cloth or board.
- Divide dough into thirds.
- Roll out with the palm of your hands to a rope approximately 18 inches long; place in prepared foil pan.
- Repeat with remaining two-thirds dough.
- Make 3-4 evenly spaced shallow cuts diagonally in the top of each loaf; brush with warm water and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Cover with clean towel and let rise in warm place away from drafts till double in bulk (approx. 30 min).
- Preheat oven to 450º.
- Place dish (I use an old aluminum pie plate) on lower shelf of oven and fill half way with hot tap water.
- Slide loaves on shelf above water.
- Bake for 15 minutes in 450º oven; reduce heat to 350º and bake 30 minutes longer.
- Bread is done when tapped and gives a hollow sound.
- Remove immediately from pans and let cool on cooling racks.
- Slice bread- spread each side with garlic butter- reassemble bread loaf and return to foil pans.
- Unfold edges to cover and warm in low oven (325º) till butter melts into bread.
- Serve warm.