When you have the time, nothing beats homemade bread. I love the feeling of working the dough with my hands, the scent of the yeast as the dough first rises, then bakes. And let’s face it, a sandwich, or even toast, is infinitely better when you know the bread is homemade.
I’ve been eyeing up this recipe for several years, simply to be able to use the bread for sandwiches. Earlier today, I enjoyed the first of many sandwiches from these loaves, and I was immediately transported to childhood. My grandma thought nothing of making fresh bread – in fact, she made so much bread that she bought 50 pounds of flour at a time!
Honey White Bread
recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa at Home
½ cup warm water (about 105-110*F)
2 pkgs dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 ½ cups warm whole milk*
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 ½ tablespoons honey
2 large egg yolks
5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 egg white, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water
Combine water, yeast and sugar in the bowl of stand mixer; let stand for 10 minutes.
Add milk, butter, and honey. Mix on medium until blended. Add egg yolks, 3 cups of flour, and the salt. Mix on low with paddle attachment for 5 minutes. Add 2 more cups of flour. Increase speed to medium and slowly add just enough of the remaining flour so the dough doesn’t stick to the bowl. Knead on medium for 8 minutes, adding flour as necessary.
Dump the dough on a floured surface and knead by hand until the dough is smooth and elastic. Grease a bowl with butter or cooking spray; place the dough in the bowl and turn it until it’s coated with butter. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rise for one hour, until doubled in volume.
Grease two 9×5 inch loaf pans. Divide the dough in half, roll each half into a loaf shape and place in pan. Cover with damp towel and allow to rise for an hour.
Preheat oven to 350*f. Brush top of loaves with egg wash and bake for 40-45 minutes. Cool completely before slicing.
*Be careful with the temperature of the milk – slightly lukewarm is best. If the milk is too hot, it will kill the yeast and your bread won’t rise.