You'll find this loaf perfect for old-fashioned sandwiches like fried egg, egg salad, or grilled cheese, and for French toast and bread puddings, and of course, thickly sliced, toasted and slathered with good butter. Enjoy!! ;o) P.S. The prep time noted below measures your "active" time. This yeast breads involves a short hands-off period while the dough rests and then, once the butter is incorporated, two rises. —AntoniaJames
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Milk and Honey Bread
one large loaf
278 grams whole milk, scalded and cooled to just warm
3 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons / 7 grams instant (rapid rise) yeast
420 grams bread flour
19 grams rye flour
1 teaspoon fine sea salt (or 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt)
23 grams toasted wheat germ
3 tablespoons / 42 grams / 1.5 ounces cool but just-soft butter (see note below) + more for greasing the pan + 1 tablespoon for brushing the loaf before baking
Oil or butter for your proofing bowl (a teaspoon or so)
Combine all of the ingredients but the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer. Run with the dough hook for about 2 -3 minutes, scraping down 3 or 4 times, until all of the ingredients have come together. Turn off the mixer, and cover the bowl lightly with a tea towel. Let sit for at least 20 minutes.
Begin to knead again on medium speed, adding the butter in 5 or 6 lumps. Knead for 12 minutes.
Transfer the dough to a clean, oiled bowl or box. Flip the dough over so it is coated with oil or butter. Cover and let rise until doubled – about an hour to an hour and a half. (You can also prove overnight in the refrigerator in a tightly lidded container. Bring to room temperature before proceeding.)
Turn the dough out onto a very lightly floured surface. Cut into three or four equal sized pieces. Shape loosely into balls and let rest, lightly covered, for about 5 minutes. Use the sides of your hands to pull each piece into a ball, stretching the dough from the top to down underneath. Place the balls into a loaf pan. I use a somewhat longer than usual tin for this.
Allow the dough to prove for about an hour, until almost doubled in size. In the meantime, heat oven to 410 degrees (or 385 for convection ovens).
When dough has risen, brush it lightly with melted butter. Bake for 15 minutes at 410 degrees, and then reduce the heat to 360 degrees. Bake for another 40 minutes.
The milk and honey tend to make this loaf darken quickly, so check it after 20 or 25 minutes (and again as necessary) and tent lightly with foil if the loaf seems to be darkening too quickly.
Allow the loaf to rest for at least 2 hours before slicing. Enjoy! ;o)
NB You don't want the butter to be too soft, so it's best to take the butter out of the fridge, wait about 10 minutes, and then cut it into small cubes. (I do this during the dough's initial rest.) If it's warm in your kitchen, pop those cubes back into the fridge until you're ready to incorporate them into the dough.
When I'm not working (negotiating transactions for internet companies), or outside enjoying the gorgeous surroundings here in the San Francisco Bay Area, I'm likely to be cooking, shopping for food, planning my next culinary experiment, or researching, voraciously, whatever interests me. In my kitchen, no matter what I am doing -- and I actually don't mind cleaning up -- I am deeply grateful for having the means to create, share with others and eat great food. Life is very good. ;o)