Muffuletta Bread

READY IN: 3hrs 25mins
YIELD: 1 loaf




  • 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.