Printer Friendly Recipe
Recipe by Stephen Pavy
Serves: Makes 2 loaves 9" x 5" x 3"
This is a simple bread that works well the following day, sliced and toasted for a great open-faced turkey sandwich with fig chutney (or cranberry). It also makes a great French toast if sliced thickly, but even then, the delicate texture of this triple-risen bread means it can fall apart pretty easily if you are not careful.
|Unsalted butter (two sticks)|
|2 pkgs.||Active dry yeast|
|Eggs at room temperature|
|8 cups||Unbleached, all-purpose flour|
|2-3 Tbsp.||Vegetable oil|
Combine milk, butter, and sugar in medium-size saucepan. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and pour into a large mixing bowl. Let cool to lukewarm (use a thermometer; 105 - 115 degrees).
Sprinkle yeast on liquid and let stand for 10 minutes. Cover with a clean towel and place in a warm place. Yeast should proof and begin to foam in this amount of time. If not, keep warm and recheck. (If yeast doesn't take off - start over).
After 10 minutes, if yeast has proofed, stir in salt. Beat eggs thoroughly in a small bowl, and add to milk/yeast mixture. Stir in the flour, one cup at a time. You will have a fairly sticky dough even with all the flour mixed in. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface (marble is great!). Wash and dry the mixing bowl.
Sprinkle additional flour over dough and begin to knead, adding more flour as necessary to achieve a smooth, elastic dough. This should take about ten minutes. Form into a ball.
Put the vegetable oil into the mixing bowl. Add dough, and turn over to coat in vegetable oil. Cover with a towel and set aside to rise until tripled in bulk - about two hours. Keep bowl in a warm place! (One good place - the microwave. Place a cup of water in microwave and boil. Take water out, and now the yeast has a warm, moist place to live and grow. Just make sure your microwave is big enough for the tripling in size. And do not use your microwave and forget the dough is there! Other good places: top of refrigerator if not a built-in. Anyplace that is warm and draft free. Keep covered and wrapped in towels.)
After dough has risen, punch down, turn out on lightly floured surface, and knead for three to four minutes. Return to bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled, another 1 to 2 hours.
Punch down and divide dough into two equal portions. Lightly butter two loaf pans, 9" x 5" x 3", or fluted brioche pans if you have them. If loaf pan, form dough into rectangle and roll tightly. Place in pan seam side down and press down into loaf pan. Let rise again until doubled.
Preheat oven to 375°F. When ready to bake, you may brush the top of dough with melted butter. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes, until light golden brown.
Turn out of loaf pans and let cool on wire rack. Bread will keep for up to six months in the freezer if tightly wrapped in to layers of plastic freezer wrap.