Thursday, August 1, 2019

Italian Sesame Loaf

A wonderful bread from master baker, Nick Malgieri. This Italian Sesame Loaf with a mixture of bread flour and whole wheat flour, is coated with sesame seeds, baked to a lovely golden brown. In the recipe, the bread is baked as a 10-inch round loaf, but I've used a 11-inch oval banetton, since I prefer an oval loaf for my sandwich.

The bread has fabulous oven spring! With flavoursome taste from the whole-wheat flour, soft crumb and a nice crust, it makes a wonderful sandwich with sliced ham, cheese and greens. Yums!

Italian Sesame Loaf
(Bread by Nick Malgieri)
1-2/3 cups (375gm) room-temperature tap water, about 75
1/2 teaspoon (about 1.5gm) fine granulated active dry or instant yeast
3 cups (400gm) bread flour, spoon into a dry-measure cup and level off
3/4 cup (100gm) whole wheat flour
1-1/2 teaspoons (9gms) fine sea salt (I use scant 1 tsp)
1/3 cup (60gm) white untoasted sesame seeds
cornmeal for the pan

one heavy cookie or pizza pan lined with sprayed or lightly oiled parchment, plus a spray bottle filled with warm water

  1. Pour the water into a 3-quart or slightly larger mixing bowl and whisk in the yeast. Wait 30 seconds, then whisk again.
  2. Combine the flours and salt and use a large rubber spatula to stir them into the liquid. Scrape the side of the bowl to make sure that no flour remains stuck there. Once the dough is a coherent mass, beat it for a few seconds. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough ferment at room temperature for at least 8 hours. It will more than double in bulk.
  3. A couple of hours before you are ready to form and bake the bread, use a plastic scraper to remove the dough from the bowl to a well-floured work surface. Flour your hands and gently flatten the dough to a disk. Fold the two sides in to overlap at the middle, then roll the top toward you all the way to the end, jelly-roll style. Invert, flatten and repeat. Flour a small area on the work surface and set the dough on it, cover with a towel or sprayed or oiled plastic wrap, and let rest for 1 hour.
  4. Set a rack in the middle level of the oven and preheat to 450℉.
  5. Use a scraper to invert the dough onto a floured work surface and pull the sides of the dough in toward the centre to give the loaf a round shape, pinching the pulled-in pieces in place at the top. Invert the dough into a floured banetton or a basket lined with a floured cloth. Cover with a flat-weave towel or a piece of oiled or sprayed plastic wrap and proof the loaf until it puffs visibly, about 1 hour- it will not double in bulk.
  6. Invert the paper-lined pan onto the banetton and flip the banetton over onto the pan and remove it. Use an X-Acto knife or a single-edge razor blade to cut a slash across the diameter of the loaf. Spray with water and generously sprinkle with sesame seeds. Place in the oven.
  7. Wait 5 minutes and spray again, then decrease the oven temperature to 425℉.
  8. Bake the loaf until it is deep golden and the internal temperature reads 200℉ on an instant read thermometer, 30 to 40 minutes. Cool the loaf on a rack.

This post is linked with Cookbook Countdown #44


  1. Love the copious amount of sesame seeds used for the crust!!

    Xoxo Emily

  2. What delicious loaf, I love sesame!!

  3. The loaf turned out just perfect, Joyce.

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