- Yield : 2 loaves
- Prep Time : 3:000 h
- Cook Time : 35m
- Ready In : 3:35 h
For Moogle- I can’t upload buttery taste, but I did promise to share – Bekah
- 4tsp Active Dry Yeast
- 1/3c sugar
- 1c warm water (around 110degrees)
- 6tbls butter (melted)
- 3 eggs
- 3.5-4.5c flour (I used 4.5- adding the last 2c slowly. It just happened that it went ragged perfectly at 4.5)
- 1tbls salt
In your mixers bowl: Add sugar to yeast, swirl around a bit to distribute. Add warm water in parts to keep the yeast from clumping up. Sirl around a bit, then cover the bowl with a cloth and leave for 10-12min. We keep our house cold (70degrees) and it was still nice and frothy by 10min easily. Frothy is ideal.
Wisk 2 of the 3 eggs lightly, add to slurry. Add warm melted butter (not scalding hot. Don't want to cook any of the egg). Add flour 1c at a time. Mix slowly with a bread hook if you have one- if you don't your arm is going to be tired. Stop adding flour when: Dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl Dough is not-sticky enough to handle with very lightly floured hands.
If you're using a mixer, the bottom will get ragged with dry sections of dough. Pull gently off the hook, flip it over if you can and mix a little bit more to make it easier to knead. Knead until it's a cohesive lump of bread smelling goodness. Once you've got it kneaded- turn your oven on to any temp you like.
Oil a bowl (I used the mixing bowl I mixed the eggs in because it was easy to clean) and once you've done that (2-3min max) check the oven. It should be warm but not hot. If it is- turn off the oven and close the door (or leave it open to cool off a bit if it's too hot) Plop your bread into the oiled bowl. Flip it once and wiggle it around a little to coat the dough in oil. Cover the bowl (I used a paper towel) and put into the warm NOT HOT oven. Set a timer for 60min.
Go play WoW or something. Seriously- leave it alone. 60min passed, check on the dough. It should have doubled in size. If it hasn't- give it another half hour to hour. Mine was done in 60 though.
Lightly flour your kneading surface. Dump the bowl of dough onto it and turn gently so that it's equally sticky all over. Punch down the dough until it's about the same size as when you started. Turn your oven on for another quick warm, turn it back off. Re-oil the bowl, put the dough back in the bowl- cover and put back into the oven. Leave it alone.
60min gone- come back. Take dough back out- it should have doubled again. If not- back in. If so move on. Again lightly flour your work surface, dump the dough out and punch it back down. Then split the dough as needed for shaping.
I find braided loaves to look the snazziest and to have the most visual impact. If you want to braid your loaf- split the dough in two equal parts. Put one back into the bowl, then split the one still out into three equal parts. Get out your cookie sheet and cover it with parchment paper. Roll out each of the three balls into a long skinny roll- narrower on the ends than in the middle. I rolled them out to the width of my cutting board. Place each snake onto the paper and pinch one end together with a little twist. Braid. At the end, twist the three pieces together, then tuck the pinched ends under the loaf. If you can make a braid it's easy as cake to do. That said, even if you screw it up it's not too bad (my right one was misbraided).
Give the oven a little warming heat again and put your loaves, rolls, or braids into the oven again to rise. Leave them 60min and they should have doubled (or better) again.
Once they've risen again, take them out, and preheat the oven to 350. Then take the last egg and whisk it. Lightly coat the top of your loaves with egg (Any kind of pressure will dent them so you need to have a very light hand). You can add poppy or sesame seeds on top if you like. I skipped them.
Cook @ 350 for about 35min- checking at least once to make sure they're browning evenly (I had to swap mine around to get even browning). Try to resist the urge to eat it hot- let it cool before slicing.