Tuesday, August 9, 2016

excellent white bread (no seriously).

Tyler and I have been eating a boat load of BLT's the past couple of weeks.  One perk (and we are looking for perks pretty much everywhere) of doing a home renovation during mid-Summer is that produce is at it's peak and peak-level produce doesn't require much work.   Thus why we've been consuming BLT's with abandon - the main ingredient is tomatoes and tomatoes my friend are at their height of deliciousness right now.  

But good tomatoes are only as good as the bread and bacon they are paired with which is why I've been searching endlessly for the best white bread recipe.  This one had been a top contender for a while but the problem I have with it is that I don't always have buttermilk on hand.  I wanted a recipe that could be thrown together quickly using pantry staples.  Which is why this is the one.  It's simple, lacks pretentiousness and bakes up like a dream.  It's the bread that toasts up brilliantly and pairs exceptionally well with juicy heirloom tomatoes.  It's the bread I'll be baking weekly until tomato season is over.         

Excellent White Bread
Recipe adapted (slightly) from the NYTimes 

2 ¼ teaspoons/7 grams active dry yeast (1 package)
1 ½ cups/355 milliliters lukewarm milk
1/4 cup/50grams granulated sugar
1 tablespoon/15 grams kosher salt
3 tablespoons/43 grams butter, melted, more for greasing bowl and pans and for brushing the tops of the loaves
2 eggs
5 to 6 cups/625 grams to 750 grams all-purpose flour

In a large electric mixer bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm milk. Add the remaining warm milk, the sugar, the salt, the butter and the eggs. Add 5 cups flour and mix with paddle attachment until smooth, about 2 minutes. Switch to hook attachment and knead on low speed, adding more flour if necessary until dough is stiff and slightly tacky, about 10 minutes.

Grease a large bowl with butter and turn dough out into the bowl. Flip over dough so greased side is up, cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and set in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Generously butter two 9-x-5 loaf pans.

When dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto floured surface and knead for 3 minutes. Return to greased bowl, cover and let rise again for 30 minutes.

Press down dough with your hand to expel the air. Divide dough in half and place each half into a loaf pan. Brush tops of loaves with remaining melted butter.

Cover and let rise until dough is just above the tops of pans, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Bake bread for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 20 to 30 minutes, or until loaves sound hollow when tapped, the tops are brown and the internal temperatures are 200 degrees. Remove loaves from pans and let cool on wire racks.

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