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Author Notes: One of my favorite loaves. Exceptional as a savory french toast. Spread with apple butter and a slab of (more) cheddar for an awesome grilled cheese. Toast and then spread with mashed avocado and a slice of garden-fresh tomato. I could go on. This is my grandmother's basic white loaf, but she would be horrified to see what I've done to it. (The resting technique I learned in a class a few years ago. It makes for a much lighter yeast bread.) —MrsWheelbarrow
Serves 2 loaves
- 12 ounces warm whole milk
- 1 tablespoon dry active yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons sugar or honey
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- 4-5 cups flour
- 3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup bacon, cooked very crisp, drained and crumbled
- 1/4 cup finely minced chives
- Whisk together the milk, egg, sugar, salt, butter and yeast until the yeast is dissolved.
- Add half the flour, mix well with a rubber spatula. Dump about 1/2 c of flour on the counter and scrape the dough out onto the flour. Allow it to rest for about 15 minutes.
- Sprinkle the chives, bacon and cheddar cheese over the dough. Add another 1/2 cup of flour and mix it all together using your floured hands and a bench scraper until well combined. It may be sticky. Once it's manageable (still sticky), let it rest again for a few minutes.
- Knead some more, adding no more than 1/2 c additional flour. Your bread will be lighter and have a better crumb if you can avoid adding more flour. It should be smooth, elastic and a tiny bit sticky. If it becomes difficult to manage, walk away and let it rest for a few minutes, then return and knead.
- Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turning it to coat with the oil. Cover and let it rise for about an hour - doubled in volume.
- Lightly butter (or PAM) two loaf pans. Divide the dough into two pieces. Weigh them if you want to be exact.
- Press each piece out into a rectangle and then roll it up and place in a loaf pan seam side down. Oil or spray the tops of the loaves and allow them to rise for another hour.
- Preheat oven to 350. Brush loaves with melted butter or an egg wash for a shinier crust, then split the loaf with a sharp knife or razor blade.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best (Savory) Yeast Bread
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