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Muffoletta Bread Recipe

Testa Produce recipe for muffoletta bread

LOS ANGELES, California, USA Testa Produce includes on its website the following recipe for muffoletta bread.  As described below, the recipe produces a classic Italian loan with a crusty, crunchy exterior and an airy, soft interior.

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup warm water (110F)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp active dry yeast
  • 3 Cup bread flour (approximately)
  • 1 1/2 Tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp shortening
  • Sesame Seeds

Directions

In a 2-cup glass measuring cup, combine the water and sugar.  Then stir in yeast, and let the yeast mixture stand until foamy -- about 5 to 10 minutes.

In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the flour, salt and shortening.  Then add the yeast mixture.  Process until the dough forms a ball, about 5 seconds.  Stop the processor and check the consistency of the dough -- it should be smooth and satiny.  If the dough is too dry, add more warm water, one tablespoon at a time, and process just until blended.  If the dough is too sticky, add more flour, one or two tablespoons at a time, and process just until blended.  When the dough's consistency is correct, then process the dough 20 seconds to knead it.

Lightly oil a large bowl by swirling the oil to coat the bottom and sides.  Place the dough in the oiled bowl and turn it to coat all sides.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place, until it has doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.

Lightly grease a baking sheet.  When the dough has doubled in bulk, punch down the dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface.  Form the dough into a round loaf, about 10 inches in diameter and place it on the greased baking sheet.  Sprinkle the top of the loaf with sesame seeds, and press the seeds gently into surface of loaf. 

Cover the dough very loosely with plastic wrap and let it rise until it has almost doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. 

Place a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 425F.  Remove the plastic wrap and bake the loaf in the center of the preheated oven for 10 minutes.  Then reduce the heat to 375F and bake for an additional 25 minutes.  The loaf is done when it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Cool completely on a rack before slicing.

Makes 1 muffoletta loaf.

Review

This classic recipe for Italian bread and produces a muffoletta with a crusty exterior and soft, airy interior.  This recipe complements modern taste for lighter bread.  To that extent, the muffoletta bread from this recipe differs from the heavier and denser original but succeeds with more contemporary tastes. 

This bread may be used for the muffoletta sandwich but should not be limited to that use.  The bread is excellent if served alone and is a fine accompaniment with antipasto, wine, cheese or dinner.


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