¾ cup + 1 tablespoon lukewarm whole milk (105-degrees to 115-degrees)
2½ teaspoons active dry yeast
½ teaspoon granulated cane sugar
3 cups unbleached bread flour (not whole wheat, organic preferred)
1¼ teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
1 tablespoon sesame oil (not Asian toasted)*
1 large egg, whisked (for the bread)
1 large egg, whisked (for the topping)
3 tablespoons white sesame seeds
Place the milk in a small saucepan and heat over low heat until it reaches from 105-degrees to no more than 115-degrees. Pour the warmed milk into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup, and whisk in the yeast and sugar. Let stand for about 10 minutes or until foamy.
Add the flour, salt and butter pieces to the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade and process for 5 seconds. Whisk the sesame oil and first egg into the yeast mixture. With the motor running, immediately pour the yeast-milk mixture through the feed tube in a steady stream as quickly as the flour mixture will absorb it. After the dough forms a soft, elastic ball and cleans the bowl's sides, process 45 seconds more to knead.**
Dust a clean countertop with some bread flour and transfer the dough ball from the processor to the counter; briefly kneading by hand to even out the dough consistency. Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl; turning over to grease the top and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Grease the interior bottom and sides of an 8½-by-4½-inch metal loaf pan with sesame oil. Set aside.
Dust a clean countertop with flour and turn the dough out onto the floured counter. Knead for 30 seconds and then shape the dough into an oblong loaf and place in the prepared pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise again at room temperature until it reaches 1-inch above the pan's top, about 45 minutes.
Twenty minutes before baking: place the oven rack in the center position and begin heating the oven to 375-degrees.
Remove the plastic wrap from the bread pan. Brush the top with the some of the second egg and evenly distribute the sesame seeds over the top. Using a sharp knife, slash a long crease lengthwise across the top from end to end; not more than ½ inch deep. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until lightly browned. Carefully transfer the loaf immediately from the pan to a cooling rack. Cool completely before slicing. Makes one loaf; about 12 equal slices.
Nutrition values per slice: 172 calories (24.6 percent from fat), 4.7 g fat (1.4 g saturated fat), 26.3 g carbohydrates, 1.2 g sugars, 1.1 g fiber, 5 g protein, 22 mg cholesterol, 256 mg sodium.
*If you don't have sesame oil, use two tablespoons of butter.
**Beranbaum suggested: If the dough is sticky, add flour by the tablespoonful. If the dough is too dry, add water by the teaspoonful.
Adapted from a recipe by Rose Levy Beranbaum, the author of "The Bread Bible." Find the original at seriouseats.com