I remember the first few times I tried to make baked bread was with a bread machine, using some instructions in a little booklet. This bread machine has to this day (well, a few years ago, we got rid of it), never made a suitable loaf. They all ended up extremely crumbly, dense, and um, dare I say disgusting?
So, inevitably, I always believed it was some ingredient the manufacturers put in the bread, probably one of those from the ingredient list that nobody can pronounce. That was until I found out that intensive kneading resulted in the softest bread ever.
And this is exactly that. Softer than a pillow when you first pull it out of the hot oven, scented with cardamon and swirled with sesame. Need I say more? I think not (and not just because I have nothing else to write about…) !
-You can always make the sesame mixture ahead of time and keep it in a cool place.
Pulse all the ingredients for the sesame filling until very smooth and liquidy. This will (at least in my food processor) take a while. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix the warm milk and yeast together. Add in all the rest of the dough ingredients except for the butter. Knead for 5 minutes, and then add in the butter chunks. Knead until smooth and elastic, to the stage where when you stretch the dough very thin without tearing.
Let rise for 1 hour.
Roll out into a large rectangle, then spread on the sesame mixture. Starting from the longer end, roll the dough into a cylinder.
Cut in half longways.
Twist the two strands, then cut in half.
Place in two bread pans, then let rise for 1-2 hours, or until doubled.
Preheat the oven to 425, brush the risen bread with the egg wash (beaten very well).
Bake for 20 minutes.