Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Bread - the great New England staple

Ever since I got my "Barefoot Contess at Home" cookbook, I have wante to try the Honey White Bread recipe in there. Since overcoming my fear of making bread and using that once-scary thing called yeast, I have bee wanting to make breads more often but always have found some kind of excuse not to.

A couple of weekends ago, I finally decided to dedicate the time to make Ina's recipe - I figured I really should know how to make a basic bread such as this one, especially living in New England - maybe I can avoid running out to the market everytime snow is predicted to get my bread and milk (I kid, I kid).

My end result was a tad dry but I think I know exactly what happened. In the end, where Ina specifically says do not add too much flour....I did. All in all the bread was still very tasty and we used it for sandwiches and toast all week and at least I know what I did wrong so that next time mine comes out as perfect looking as hers does in her cookbook!

Honey White Bread
(from Barefoot Contessa at Home)

1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees)
2 packages dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 cups warm whole milk (110 degrees)
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 Tbsp honey
2 extra-large egg yolks
5-6 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 egg white, lightly beaten

Place warm water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Add yeast and sugar; stir and allow them to dissolve for 5 minutes.

Add the milk, butter, and honey. Mix on medium speed until blended. Add the egg yolks, 3 cups of 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. Knead on medium speed for about 8 minutes, adding flour as necessary.

Dump dough 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 to rise for 1 hour, until doubled in volume.

Grease two 9×5 inch loaf pans with butter. Divide the dough in half, roll each half into a loaf shape and place each in a prepared pan. Cover again with the damp towel and allow to rise again for an hour, until doubled in volume.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. When the dough is ready, brush the tops with egg white and bake for 40-45 minutes, until they sound hollow when tapped. Turn them out of the pans and cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.


Danielle said...

i'm so proud of you making bread with YEAST! :) My little Afraid of Yeast girl! ;) You ROCK! :D

Katy said...

Hmmm, I love baking bread, and I like the idea of the honey in this one. Your bread looks very good. Think I'll give this recipe a try. Thank you for sharing such a great recipe!