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Crusty Round Loaves in the Bread Machine

The automatic bread machine is a no-brainer when it comes to making bread; it does virtually all of the work while you do other tasks or just relax. The machines are inexpensive to purchase new, but I have found several for under $10 at thrift stores. Both of these sandwich loaves use the dough setting; they are shaped into rounds and baked in the oven.

Crusty Round Sandwich Loaves in the Bread Machine


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Place the following ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in order:

1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon dry yeast

Set the machine to the dough setting. When the cycle has finished, transfer the dough to a lightly floured pastry cloth or countertop; divide into two pieces. Shape each half into a round about 6 in diameter; place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Let the dough rise until double. Heat the oven to 400. When the oven is hot, spray the loaves with water, then immediately put them in the oven (the water becomes steam in the hot oven and makes the crust very crisp). Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

Muffuletta Loaves in the Bread Machine


If you live in Louisiana, you can purchase fresh Muffuletta loaves from the local bakery; the loaves are difficult to find in other areas. The automatic bread machine does most of the work when making these crusty seeded loaves, and hands-on time is minimal. Alternately, you can purchase a long seeded loaf of French bread; it won't be the right shape, but will taste very similar.
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1 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons shortening
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon yeast

Topping:
1 egg white, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup (about) sesame seeds

Place the dough ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order given and set the machine to the dough setting. When the cycle has finished, transfer the dough to a lightly floured pastry cloth or countertop; divide into two pieces. Shape each half into a round about 6 in diameter; place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Press the loaves down so they are flatter and larger in diameter (8-10). Let the loaves rise, then brush with the egg white mixture and sprinkle liberally with the sesame seeds, pressing them lightly onto the loaves.

Heat the oven to 400. When the oven is hot, spray the loaves with water, then immediately put them in the oven (the water becomes steam in the hot oven and makes the crust very crisp). Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool on wire racks.



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