Time Required: 4 hours

Greek Toast

A delicious, airy, sesame white bread, perfect for recreating
the Greek toast often found in Chicago diners.

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Notes:

This is my attempt at recreating the square, sesame-seed-topped white bread used to make the Greek toast I grew up eating in Chicago diners; I couldn't find a complete recipe for it anywhere, so I pieced one together as best as I could!

You will need a 13"x4"x4" Pullman loaf pan to create the recognizable square shape of this loaf. While you could instead divide the dough in half and bake it in two classic loaf pans, the internal texture of the bread will be slightly different and it will have a rounded top.

This bread is best when sliced thick, toasted, and served with any classic breakfast food, but also functions well as a sandwich bread.

Store this bread at room temperature in a sealed plastic bag or wrapped in aluminum foil for up to 4 days, or slice it and freeze it for up to 3 months.

Greek Toast

Ingredients

  • 8 g active dry yeast
  • 523 g warm water (~110F)
  • 36 g sugar
  • 792 g bread flour
  • 57 g unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp sesame seeds

Steps

  1. Add the yeast, 95 g of the warm water, and 15 g of the sugar in a small bowl. Let rest for 7-10 minutes, until foamy.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, the remaining 21 g of sugar, and the salt. Add in the butter, the remaining 428 g of warm water, and the yeast mixture, and mix in the stand mixer with the dough hook attachment on low speed until just combined.
  3. Increase the mixer speed to medium and let knead for 10 minutes until a smooth dough forms and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  4. Oil your hands and roughly form the dough into a ball (doesn't need to be perfect, it's a fairly hydrated/sticky dough), then place it in a large, oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1 to 1.5 hours, until doubled.
  5. Grease a 13"x4"x4" Pullman loaf pan with butter and optionally line it with parchment paper.
  6. Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a floured surface. Press the dough out into a rough rectangle, then roll it up into a 13" long loaf and place it into the greased loaf pan.
  7. Cover the loaf pan with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for 30 minutes, or until it almost reaches the top rim of the pan (roughly ¾" below it). In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  8. Lightly beat the egg white and 1 tbsp water together with a fork in a small bowl.
  9. Remove the plastic wrap from the pan, brush the top of the loaf with the egg white and water mixture, and generously sprinkle the sesame seeds on top. Then grease the loaf pan lid with butter and slide it onto the pan until it clicks into place.
  10. Place the covered loaf pan in the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the cover and place back in the oven and back for an additional 20-25 minutes, until the top is lightly golden brown and the inside of the loaf measures at least 200°F in the center.
  11. Remove the oven from the pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
  12. Slice into thick slices (think Texas toast) and serve toasted with butter.
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