|Lukewarm water||1 Cup (16 tbs)|
|Salt||1 1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Yeast||1⁄4 Ounce (1 Package)|
|Soft shortening||1 Tablespoon|
|Sifted flour||3 3⁄4 Cup (60 tbs)|
|Sesame seeds/Poppy seeds||1 Teaspoon|
1. Combine the water and salt; add the yeast and stir until yeast is well dissolved. Add the shortening.
2. Stir in the flour, one-half cup at a time. Continue adding enough flour to make a stiff dough.
3. When the dough begins to leave the sides of the bowl, turn it out onto a lightly floured board. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic and does not stick to the board.
4. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning once to bring the greased side up. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place (80° to 85° F.) until double in bulk, or about one and one-half to two hours. (Dough has doubled when two fingers, pressed into it, leave an indentation.)
5. Punch the dough down, fold over edges of dough and turn it upside down. Cover and let rise again until almost double in bulk, or thirty to forty-five minutes.
6. Roll the dough into an oblong, fifteen by ten inches. Starting from a wide side, roll the dough up tightly as for a jelly roll. Pinch the edges together to seal. With a hand on each end of the roll, roll gently back and forth to lengthen the loaf and taper the ends.
7. Place the loaf diagonally on a baking sheet that has been lightly greased and sprinkled with cornmeal. With a sharp knife, make one-quarter-inch slashes in the dough at two-inch intervals, or one lengthwise slash. Brush the top with cold water and let stand, uncovered, about one and one-half hours. Brush again with cold water.
8. Bake in a preheated hot oven (425° F.) ten minutes. Brush again with water, reduce oven temperature to moderate (375° F.) and bake ten minutes longer. Brush with water again, sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds and continue baking until golden brown, or fifteen to twenty minutes longer.