We should all have a solid command of the ABCs of baking. Thankfully,Food52's Test Kitchen Manager Erin McDowell -- alongside photographer Sarah Stone, who both blog at The Shutter Oven -- is here, with tips and tricks to help you master the most essential desserts and the simplest breads.
Today: Get the low-down on baking enriched breads -- because there's nothing wrong with a little extra butter.
Enriched breads are some of the most beloved recipes in my baking arsenal -- I fell in love with the term enriched when I first heard it. It refers to breads that contain other ingredients aside from the basic four: flour, water, salt, and yeast. These additional components enrich the dough, providing fat, color, flavor, and a host of other benefits. Whether you add butter to a dinner roll dough, vanilla sugar to a sweet dough, or eggs to a fluffy challah dough, enrichments make for some delicious bread.
It is important to note that these tasty additions also play other very important roles, and -- just like in all baking -- careful scaling (a.k.a. measuring) is the key to success. Adding too many enrichments to a dough can create an array of issues: It can make a bread darken too quickly in the oven, prevent a strong crust from forming, or cause a bread to become overly dry, for example.
Another way that enriched doughs differ from their lean counterparts is their mixing method. Many enriched breads -- like the challah recipe I'm sharing today -- call for the "improved mixing method," which I will explain below. While the structure of these breads is the same as that of most basic breads, there are some important differences. Here’s what you need to know:
Makes 1 large loaf
cups bread flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon instant dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup warm water (around 100° F)
1/2 cup milk, room temperature
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup canola oil
Egg wash (1 egg plus 1 tablespoon water, beaten)
Photos by Sarah Stone