Thursday, May 3, 2012

Honey White Bread

Until recently, I had no interest in baking my own bread. But good bread at the grocery store is expensive, so I decided to try my hand at it. My stand mixer has a dough hook, so kneading the dough is a breeze. This recipe is from Barefoot Contessa at Home and makes two loaves. The first time I made the bread, my loaves had a free-form French bread look because I didn’t have loaf pans. That situation has been rectified. Next month, I plan to substitute whole-wheat flour for half of the white flour. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Enjoy!

Honey White Bread
2 packages active dry yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups milk (warmed in the microwave, about 2 minutes)
6 Tbsp. butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 1/2 Tbsp. honey
2 eggs, separated
5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. salt

1. Add yeast and sugar to water. Pour into bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook. Let stand 5 minutes.
2. Add the milk and next 2 ingredients. Beat on medium speed until blended. Add in 2 egg yolks, 3 cups flour, and salt; beat on low for 5 minutes. With the mixer running, beat in 2 more cups of flour. Beat at medium speed for 8 minutes, slowly adding enough of the remaining 1 cup flour so the dough forms a ball and doesn’t stick to the bowl.
3. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface, and knead 1 minute. Transfer to a lightly greased bowl, turning dough to coat the top. Cover with a damp towel, and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, for 1 hour or until doubled in volume.
4. Divide dough in half, and roll into a loaf shape. Place in 2 lightly greased (9- x 5-inch) loaf pans, and cover with damp towels. Let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in volume. Brush tops of dough with reserved egg whites.
5. Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped. Cool in pans 10 minutes; cool on wire rack completely.

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