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Friday, May 22, 2015
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Martinsville Bulletin, Inc.
P. O. Box 3711
204 Broad Street
Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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Italian Bread "101"
Contributed by: Joan Ragland
  • Overnight starter
  • 3/4 cup King Arthur unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/8 tsp. instant yeast
  • Dough
  • 2 tsp. instant yeast
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 3/4 cups King Arthur unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp. table salt
  • Topping
  • 1 egg white beaten with 1 TBS water
  • Sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Mix the starter ingredients in a small bowl, cover, and let rest at room temperature overnight.
Place the dough and starter ingredients into the pan of the bread machine, and start the dough cycle. When the cycle is finished, remove the dough, deflate it gently and let it rest, covered, for 30 minutes. Transfer the dough to a very lightly greased work surface, and divide it into three pieces. Roll each piece between your hands into an 18-inch rope. Braid the ropes, tuck the ends under, and set the loaf on a lightly greased or parchment paper-lined baking sheet, cover, and let it rise for 30-60 minutes, or until it is very puffy.
Brush the loaf with the egg/water mixture and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for about 25 minutes (the internal temperature should be 190 degrees or, if you don’t have a thermometer, tap the bottom of the bread — it will sound hollow and will be a golden color). Remove it from the oven and cool it on a wire rack.
If you do not have a bread machine, visit for manual and mixer instructions.
(This recipe was contributed as part of a "Cook of the Week" feature.)

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