Homemade Italian Bread
Combine 3 cups flour with dry yeast, salt and sugar in stand mixing bow. Using dough hook on low speed.
Place water in a microwave-safe dish and add 1 tbsp. butter
Heat water and butter in the microwave until it is very warm 120-130 degrees Fahrenheit. (do not overheat as the hot water can kill active yeast)
With mixer on low speed, add warm water and butter. Mix for 2 minutes.
Add remaining flour one 1/2 cup at a time, mixing until all the flour is fully incorporated with each addition.
Stop mixer on occasion and scrap down the sides of the mixing bowl.
Continue mixing on lowest speed for 4 to 5 minutes.
Turn mixer to next highest speed and allow to mix for additional 4 to 5 minutes. The dough will start to have a nice elastic texture to it and will start to pull away from the mixing bowl.
*Do not overmix beyond that point as the dough can lose its elasticity.
Cover dough with damp towel and let rest for 20 minutes.
Cut dough in half.
On a floured surface, take one half of the dough and punch down to "de-gas" and fold dough over onto itself a few times.
Then, roll out into a 10" x 14" rectangle.
Spray cooking oil on a baking sheet and sprinkle with semolina flour or cornmeal
Starting on the longer side of the rectangle roll the dough from end to end.
Place on a cookie sheet seam side down and tuck both ends under.
Repeat the rolling process for the other 1/2 of dough. Place dough roll on the baking sheet allowing room for the rising process.
Brush a light coating of olive oil on top of each dough roll and cover lightly with plastic wrap.
Put the dough in fridge overnight, or on counter until fully risen.
You can check by pressing into the dough with your finger if it leaves a dent, it is ready. If the dough bounces back, it requires more time to rise.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F or 400F if using convection setting.
Mix egg white with water, and brush on top of each loaf.
Cut slits across top of bread and sprinkle sesame seeds lightly over the top
Place in preheated oven for 25 - 30 minutes. ( For best bread results, use a steam tray in the bottom of the oven)
Let cool completely before slicing.