There’s something about a home-made loaf which is endlessly comforting. The baking, the smell, and the flavour – no store bought bread can compare with the satisfaction of making one yourself!
This recipe creates an incredibly rich loaf which makes wonderful toast and french toast, and for those two reasons alone are absolutely worth making it for!
Honey White Bread
(From Cookie Baker Lynn)
1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F.- use a thermometer to check until you’re familiar with what this feels like)
2 packages dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1-1/2 cups warm whole milk (110 degrees F.)
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1-1/2 Tbsp honey
2 extra-large egg yolks
5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 egg white, lightly beaten
Place the water in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment in place. If the bowl is cold, be sure the water temperature doesn’t drop below 110 degrees. Add the yeast and sugar; stir and allow to dissolve for 5 minutes. You should see bubbles forming on the surface at this point.
Add the milk, butter, and honey. Mix on medium speed until blended. Add the egg yolks, 3 cups of the flour, and the salt. Mix on low speed for about 5 minutes. With the mixer still on low speed, add 2 more cups of flour. Raise the speed to medium and slowly add just enough of the remaining flour so the dough doesn’t stick to the bowl. When the dough forms a ball that comes away from the bowl, switch to the dough hook attachment. Knead on medium speed for about 8 minutes, adding flour slowly as necessary.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead by hand for a minute, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Grease a bowl with butter, put the dough in the bowl, then turn it over so the top is lightly buttered. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and allow it to rise for 1 hour, until doubled in volume.
Grease two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans with butter. Divide the dough in half, roll each half into a rectangle as wide as your loaf pan and twice as long. Roll it up into a log the width of your bread pan, and pulling just a bit so that you don’t get big air bubbles inside. Pinch together the ends and edges. Place each seam side down, in a prepared pan. Cover again with the damp towel and allow to rise again for an hour, until doubled in volume.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. When the dough is ready, brush the tops with the egg white and bake the breads for 40 to 45 minutes, until they sound hollow when tapped. Turn them out of the pans and cool completely on a wire rack before slicing. You may need a sharp bread knife to keep hungry family at bay while it cools. Or just give in and have raggedy pieces of bread, dripping with butter. That’s not such a bad thing, either.
As for this photo…
This is an example of just what I have to put up with when taking shots…You see, after my giant sheets of white cardboard were accidently soaked awhile back, I took to shooting inside.
Needless to say, I’m yet to replace the cardboard.
Anyway, when shooting inside, I get the best light when lying on my stomach on the ground…but alas, this also means that whatever I’ve made happens to be fair game for Mr Woofy.
Here, he’s trying to take a bite from my first attempt at this bread. While the bread didn’t exactly turn out thanks to a little whoops with the instructions, it still tasted fine and luckily I managed to stop Mr Woofy from getting any closer as soon as I fired off this shot.
BAD MR WOOFY!
Mind you, he looked so sad that I had to give him a piece of my crust from the toasted slice I had after the photo session…