- 1 cup milk
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 package instant yeast
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 3 cups strong flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Vitamin C (optional)
- 1 egg white, slightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
In a microwave-proof container, heat the milk with butter and honey on High for 1 minute.
Mix flour, yeast and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the warmed milk.
Turn mixer on low. When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium. Stop the machine periodically to scrape the dough off the hook. Mix until the dough is no longer sticky, about 10 minutes.
Turn the dough onto the work surface and knead for a minute or so by hand. Knead by folding the dough over itself and pushing out with the heel of your hands, not down. Rotate the dough and repeat. The dough is properly kneaded when you can pull it and it stretches without breaking. Form the dough into a round and place in an oiled bowl, turn to coat the entire ball with oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes. Test the dough by pressing 2 fingers into it. If indents remain, the dough is adequately risen.
Once the dough is doubled and domed, turn it out onto the counter.
To form a loaf, pat the dough into a rectangle, fold the long sides to the middle then fold under the ends. Pinch the seams closed and place in a greased 9 by 5-inch loaf pan, seam side down. Make sure the dough touches all sides of the pan.
Cover with plastic wrap and let rise a second time for 20 minutes or until the top of the dough is nearly level with the top of the loaf pan.
Preheat oven to 200C, place a large pan on the bottom rack of the oven. Bring 3 cups water to a boil on the stove. Pour the hot water into the preheated pan to create a steam bath for the bread. This will make a crisp crust.
Slash dough down the middle of the loaf with a sharp knife to allow the steam to escape during baking. Brush the top with beaten egg white and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake the bread for 30 to 40 minutes until crust is golden. The bottom of the loaf should sound hollow when tapped. Immediately remove the bread from the pan and cool completely on a rack.