Better than bakery bread, this is perfect alongside Italian foods. You can serve both loaves the recipe yields or freeze one for later.
- 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
- 2-1/2 cups water (110° to 115°)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 6 to 6-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg white
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the sugar, oil, salt and 4 cups of flour; beat until smooth. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
- Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Punch dough down. Divide in half. Roll each half into a 15x10-in. rectangle. Roll up from a long side; seal well. Place with seam side down on greased baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal.
- Beat egg white and water; brush over loaves. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Cover with plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray; let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes.
- With a very sharp knife, make four shallow diagonal cuts across top. Bake at 400° for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack. Yield: 2 loaves (16 slices each).
Originally published as Sesame French Bread in Taste of Home June/July 1996, p19
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