Recipe by Sarah Phillips; Food styling and photos by Kelly Hong © 2003 Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com
Bread and photo by Sirena, Premium Member © Sarah Phillips
Bread and photo by Kelly Hong © Sarah Phillips
This is my favorite loaf to make as an everyday loaf, especially for the kids’ school sandwiches. The bread slices beautifully because of the eggs, milk, and butter, and it is great for toast.
We got stunning results using this bread dough in our Natural Easter Egg Bread Basket recipe! For a complete bread making tutorial, go to the Classic White Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread recipe.
BREAD RECIPE HELP
SIRENA, Premium Member, Says: "This is the first yeast loaf of my life. Sarah, your recipe and instructions are great, thanks!"
Vegetable oil cooking spray
3/4 cup warm water, 100 to 110 degrees F; measure with an instant read thermometer
4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup milk, 100 to 110 degrees F
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup sugar
6 cups unbleached all-purpose flour; spoon into dry measuring cup and level to top; variation: use 50% all-purpose and 50% whole-wheat flours and blend together
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Optional toppings: 1 egg, beaten; poppy or caraway seeds; milk or cream
NOTES: Two packages of Fleishmann’s yeast equal 4 1/2 teaspoons; different brands may have different measurements. The butter can be reduced to 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick), but that will change the taste and texture.
1. Spray the bread pan with vegetable oil spray (even if it’s non-stick). Preferably use one that is heavy, dull metal. Set aside.
To mix with a stand mixer:
1. Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment. Place the water in the mixing bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the surface. After 2 to 3 minutes, whisk the yeast until it has fully absorbed the water.
2. Turn the mixer on low speed. Add the milk, butter and sugar; combine.
3. Add 2 cups of the flour in 1/2 cup portions. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes.
4. Reduce the speed to low, slowly add the eggs.
5. Mix the flour with the salt. Add 1/2 cup of this mixture and beat at high speed for 2 minutes.
6. Reduce the mixer speed to low and continue to add the remaining flour in 1/2 cup portions, thoroughly blending after each.
Switch to the dough hook when the mixture is like a very thick paste, after adding about 2 to 3 cups.
7. Continue adding the flour, 1/2 cup at a time. When the dough starts to come together in a solid shape, add flour only 1 or 2 tablespoons at a time. Take your time and don’t rush the process; it is critical that you get the consistency of the dough right. Stop adding flour when the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl and all ingredients are incorporated. The dough should be tacky, not sticky, wet, or dry. You may end up needing more or less flour than called for in the recipe.
To mix by hand: Dissolve the yeast in the water in a large bowl and add the milk, butter, and sugar; slowly add 2 cups of flour, ½ cup at a time. Add eggs, combine, and then add 1/2 cup flour mixed with the salt. Add the rest of the flour 1/2 cup at a time while you stir with a wooden spoon, adding only enough to form a rough, shaggy dough. The rest of the flour will be kneaded in. let the dough rest for 5 to 15 minutes.
To mix with a food processor: Dissolve the yeast in the food processor bowl. Secure the bowl onto the machine and insert the metal chopping blade (not the plastic dough blade). Add the milk, butter and sugar. Process on low speed while slowly adding 2 cups flour and the salt, and then the eggs, through the feed tube. Continue to add flour until a slack, slightly tacky ball of dough forms. Add more water or flour if necessary and process for 45 seconds; rest for 1 minute; then process for another 45 seconds or until the dough is elastic.
8. At this point, with any method, set the dough aside to rest, covered in its bowl for 15 minutes. It is now ready to be kneaded.
9. Knead in the mixer bowl at low speed with the dough hook for 5 minutes – 8 to 10 minutes by hand; 45 seconds in the food processor – until smooth and elastic. I prefer to knead by hand. Shape the dough into a ball. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and turn the dough to coat all over.
10. First rising and punch down the dough: Cover in a greased-side-down piece of plastic wrap making sure to seal the bowl tightly.
Place in Sarah's Microwave Bread Proofer or in a 75-85 degree F sport for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until just about doubled in size. Punch down the dough to deflate.
11. Shape into a loaf, loaves or rolls.
12. Second rising: Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and place it in Sarah's Microwave Bread Proofer or in a 75-85 degree F sport until the top of the middle of the loaf reaches the rim of the pan, about 1 hour. Individual rolls should be placed 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet and left to rise until they double in bulk, 20 to 40 minutes.
While the dough is rising, prepare the oven. Position one rack on the rung below the middle one and another on the very bottom rung. (Remove the higher racks, if any). Place a sheet pan on the lowest rack. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
When the dough has risen, for a shiny finish brush the bread or each roll just before baking with beaten egg and optionally sprinkle with toppings, such as poppy or caraway seeds. You can also brush with milk or cream for a dull finish. Immediately place the leaves or rolls in the preheated oven.
13. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes to one hour (15 to 25 minutes for the rolls) until the bread (or each roll) reaches an internal temperature of 190 to 210 degrees F measured with an instant reader thermometer.
Remove the leaves or rolls from the oven and let them sit for 10 to 20 minutes before unmolding.
Let the loaf cool on its side (rolls on their bottom) on a wire cake rack for at least one hour before slicing. Slice the bread with a serrated or electric knife.
Wait until the bread cools completely before wrapping the loaf in plastic wrap or a few times in foil and storing it in an airtight plastic bag or in a bread box. Bread is best stored at room temperature in a cool, dry place for 2 to 3 days or kept frozen, where it will keep fresh for 2 to 3 months. Pre-slice it, if you want to, so you can take out one or two slices at a time.