Makes 1 Muffuletta Loaf.
- 1 Cup Warm Water (110 degrees F)
- 1 Tbsp Active Dry Yeast
- 1 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
- 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 Cup Bread Flour
- 1 1/2 tsp Iodized Salt
- 2 Tbsp Lard or Vegetable Shortening
- Sesame Seeds
- 3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
For the Egg Wash:
- 1 Egg
- 2 Tbsp Cold Water
- Combine the water, yeast and sugar in the work bowl of a stand mixer, stir well and let stand for 5-10 minutes or until good and foamy.
- Meanwhile, combine the flours, salt, and lard in a bowl and work in the fat with your hands until broken up into very small pieces. When the yeast is foamy, fit the mixer with a dough hook attachment and gradually add the flour on low speed until it’s all incorporated. Scrape the sides down between additions.
- When the dough comes together, turn it onto a floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 5-10 minutes, adding more flour if necessary.. Alternatively, you can let the machine do the work, but for me, bread is a touch thing.
- Coat a large bowl with the Olive Oil, then put the dough in, turning once to coat both sides. Cover loosely with a clean dry towel, or plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1-1/2 hours.
- Punch the dough down and shape into a flat round about 9 inches across (it will expand to about 10″.) Place the dough on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Sprinkle the top with sesame seeds, about 2-3 Tbsp should do it, then press them lightly into the dough.
- Loosely cover the loaf and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. When the dough has risen, remove the cover, gently brush with the egg wash then gently place into a preheated 425 degree F oven for 10 minutes.
- Turn the heat down to 375 degrees F for an additional 25 minutes or until it’s golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.