Childhood. I wonder what kittenhood felt like to Mr. Michel. He wandered the streets as a kitten until Sweet Z rescued him from the depths of despair. My childhood was filled with lots of breads…and this bread certainly tasted familiar to me. However, this recipe was recently passed down to me from my mother in law who used to make this bread for her family some thirty years ago. The ingredient list was accessible and on par with what I have been noticing most breads include. This was sweetened with honey and the richness came from butter and egg yolks. I used soy milk, although, I am sure whole milk would be equally divine.
I also took the original recipe, made half the batch (1 loaf) and let my bread machine do the
work initial mixing, kneading, and first rise. I shaped it, and let it come to a second rise in the prepared pan.
The loaf was ready to be baked off..but not before a final brushing with an egg yolk glaze. As the bread was baking I became slightly concerned. It was pretty high….and I wondered if I had let it rise too long for the second rise? I will be extra careful of this next time.
The result was a delicious and rich tasting bread. The addition of egg really bolsters the rich texture of this high rising, slightly sweet, loaf. Sweet Z did indeed remember this loaf from his childhood and happily munched his way through many sandwiches. I preferred a piece toasted with a bit of butter and jam…or a little drizzle of honey. It also makes a great grilled cheese. Without a doubt, this bread will be in our bread rotation!! Next time, I will make the two loaves as suggested….and stash one loaf, pre-sliced in the freezer! I might even ditch my bread machine, too!
- Recipe adapted from The Complete Bread Cookbook, for the bread machine
- 3 Cups bread flour
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoon yeast
- 2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons water
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons egg yolk
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 1 Cup lukewarm milk
- In the pan of the bread machine add in the bread flour, cubed butter, salt, sugar, yeast, water, egg yolk, honey and warmed milk.
- Select the dough setting and start.
- Spray an 8"X 4"X 2 1/2" bread pan lightly. When dough is ready, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and gently pat into a rectangle.
- Fold the top down, 1/3 of the way, and press the seam using the heel of your hand. Fold that down towards the bottom of the dough - tucking and pressing the dough, again with the heel of your hand, towards the counter.
- Put the bundle of dough into your loaf pan, slightly press the top with the palm of your hand, cover (I use a plastic shower cap (also lightly sprayed), and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size (30 - 60 minutes, it is variable and may take longer).
- Bake in a preheated oven at 400* for 10 minutes. Turn the heat down to 350* and continue baking for 25 - 40 minutes until the loaf is golden brown and tests done. I do the tap, sounds hollow? it is done method).