This bread turns out crusty on the outside, soft and chewy inside. And oozes of yummy comfort food goodness. Enjoy spread with fresh cream butter, sliced for sandwiches or an accompaniment to homemade soup.
Combine 2 cups flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Add butter and mix. Add water. Beat until yeast dissolves. Add 1 cup flour and gradually stir in additional flour, reserving some for the next step.
Roll to make a ball on floured surface.
Place in slightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in oven over a pan of hot water for 20 minutes.
Punch, knead, and divide in half and shape into two long loaves. Place on greased baking sheet. Brush with oil. Cover with plastic wrap.
Refrigerate 2-24 hours. Let stand while preheating oven. If desired, brush tops with mixture of cold water & egg white. Sprinkle with sea salt.
Bake in a 400 degree oven for 30-40 minutes.