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Ingredients

Directions

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the 1/2 cup warm water and yeast. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes or until yeast dissolves and mixture is bubbly on top.

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  • Stir the remaining 2 cups of warm water, the sugar, orange flower water (if you like), oil, and salt into the yeast mixture. Add 3 cups of the flour. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can with a wooden spoon.

  • Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in enough of the remaining unbleached flour to make a moderately soft dough thats smooth and elastic (about 3 to 5 minutes total).

  • Shape the dough into a ball. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl; turn once to grease surface of the dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about 1 hour).

  • Punch the bread dough down and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the bread dough in half. Cover the dough and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll each portion of the bread dough into a 9x4-inch rectangle. Place each loaf on a greased large baking sheet. Make three or four 3-inch-long diagonal cuts completely through each rectangle to within 1 inch of the edges. Slightly stretch the bread dough to widen and open the slits.

  • Cover the loaves of unbaked bread and let rice in a warm place until nearly doubled (30 to 40 minutes).

  • Beat together the beaten egg and the 1 tablespoon water. Brush the top of the loaf-shaped dough with the egg mixture. Sprinkle with pearl sugar.

  • Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when lightly tapped. (Cover loosely with foil during the last 5 to 8 minutes of baking to prevent overbrowning, if needed.) Immediately remove the loaves from the baking sheets. Cool loaves on wire racks.

*

Orange flower water is available in most Asian markets or specialty bake shops. Pearl sugar is sold at specialty bakeries.

Nutrition Facts

151 calories; 2 g total fat; 9 mg cholesterol; 101 mg sodium. 30 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein;

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