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La Pompe a l'Huile

3 packages active dried yeast
1/2 cup warm water
7 cups flour
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
10 Tbsp. (1 stick plus 2 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, melted
5 Tbsp. fruity extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. orange flower water
2 tsp. aniseeds, toasted
1 1/2 to 2 cups water
1 egg yolk


Mix the yeast with the 1/2 cup warm water and set aside. Sift the flour, powdered sugar, and salt into a large bowl (preferably wood). Make an indentation in the center and add the yeast mixture, melted butter, olive oil, orange flower water, and aniseeds. Slowly stir in 1 1/2 cups of water with a wooden spoon, then knead the dough until it is smooth and satiny, about 10 minutes, adding more water if necessary. The dough should be quite soft. Form the dough into a ball and put it back into the bowl. Cover the bowl with a cloth, and let the dough rise in a warm place for one hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375F. Place parchment paper on two baking sheets. When the dough has risen, divide it in half and form two balls. Place one on each baking sheet. Flatten the balls with your hand. With a rolling pin, roll each flattened ball into a large circle about 3/4 inch thick. Using a pastry wheel or sharp knife and starting about an inch to one side of the center, make three diagonal cuts slanting downward. Make symmetrical cuts on the other side. Repeat this process with the other loaf. Gently spread the cuts apart with your fingers to form irregular oval opening about 2 inches wide. They will close up a bit during cooking. Using a pastry brush or your fingers, smear half of the egg yolk over the top of each loaf. Place one loaf in the refrigerator while baking the other. Bake each loaf on the middle rack of the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, until deep golden. Five minutes prior to the first loaf being done, remove the second from the refrigerator and let rest before baking. Cool the loaves on wire racks. The loaves may be eaten warm or at room temperature. To store, wrap the cooled loaves in aluminum foil. They will keep for up to 48 hours at room temperature or frozen for up to one week.

Source: www.epicurious.com