550 ml lukewarm water
3 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
650 g all purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 egg
2 tablespoons cool water
Add the water, yeast and sugar to the bowl of your stand mixer (or to a large mixing bowl if you’re making the bread by hand). Mix together with a fork and let sit for about 5 minutes.
Once the yeast mixture is bubbly, add 500 g of the flour and the salt (be sure the salt doesn’t touch the yeast mixture directly – mix it in with the flour first).
Mix on low speed (if using a stand mixer) until the dough comes together, adding the last half cup of flour as the mixer begins to knead the dough. Let the mixer knead the dough for about 3-4 minutes on low speed.
If making by hand, knead the dough for about 6-7 minutes on a lightly floured surface.
Let the ball of dough rest in the bowl to rise for about 1 1/2 hours, and cover the bowl with some plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel.
After 1 1/2 hours punch the dough down and scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured surface (flour your hands as well). Let the ball of dough sit, covered, for about 5-10 minutes before shaping.
To shape the dough, divide the dough in half (this recipe makes two loaves). Roll the first half out into a rectangle about 40 cm by 45-50 cm. Roll the dough up tightly into a long snake-shaped loaf, making sure you roll tightly enough that there are no large gaps of air between the pieces of dough.
Pinch the ends together tightly to seal them and flip the loaf over, placing it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Repeat these steps for the second loaf to shape it as well.
Score the loaves with a sharp knife very carefully, creating 5 or 6 cuts on the top of each loaf about 1/4 inch or 1/2 inch thick.
Cover the loaves and let them rise for another 20-25 minutes, covered with a clean kitchen towel.
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
Combine the egg and water in a small bowl and brush the mixture very gently over the top of the bread just before baking.
Bake the loaves for about 18-20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool almost completely before slicing and serving.