Monday, February 23, 2009
In honor of Mardis Gras this week, we celebrated early with muffalettas for dinner last night. In the past, I just picked up some bread from the bakery, but decided to try and make my own this time. I ended up making this twice because I mistakenly did not use instant yeast, so the dough never rose! I did end up baking it anyway and it tasted ok, so I'm saving it for some other sandwiches. But, the second attempt was even better, obviously. It was very quick and easy to throw together. I liked that this is a somewhat flatter, thinner loaf (about 2 inches high), so the sandwich isn't too big to eat. My only complaint is that the sesame seeds did not stick to the bread at all after it was baked. Most of them came off.
The first loaf that did not rise:
The second loaf:
To assemble the muffaletta, slice the bread in half horizontally, so it looks like a big hamburger bun.
Layer the Olive Salad, the meats and provolone (Read this previous post with more description and ingredients of the sandwich). Top with the bread and then cut into slices. I like to put it under the broiler before adding the top piece of bread, just to let the cheese melt a bit. But, the muffaletta is traditionally served room temperature.
Source: What's Cooking America
1 cup lukewarm water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons instant active dry yeast
Using your mixer with dough hook, place water, olive oil, sugar, salt, flour, and yeast in the bowl. Beat until smooth. If using your bread machine, select dough setting and press start. When dough cycle has finished, remove dough from pan and turn out onto a lightly oiled surface. Form dough into an oval, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest for 10 minutes.
After resting, turn dough bottom side up and press to flatten. Form dough into a one-inch high circle and place on a baking sheet dusted with cornmeal. Press sesame seeds into surface of dough and brush with olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place 30 to 50 minutes or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. After rising, bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees F. and bake 15 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped. (A good check is to use an instant digital thermometer to test your bread. The temperature should be between 200 and 210 degrees.) Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack before slicing.
Makes 1 loaf.