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Everyday Bread

Everyday Bread

Recipes

Many of you will know that my last year’s New Year’s resolution was to bake all of our bread.  I shared a few recipes last year, like the Caramelized Onion-Beer Bread and Stinging Nettle Loaves, but I held back others, trying to adapt and perfect them first.

Today’s recipe was one of those.  Funnily enough, it’s also the one I’ve made the most.  I started months back with a basic white bread from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice — but then added a little rye for chew and flavour — which meant that I had to play with amounts of yeast, sugar and salt to make sure everyone plays nicely (and, more importantly, consistently) together.

It took me a few months, but the time has come.

everyday-bread

If you like a lighter bread that still has some texture and earthiness to it, try this recipe.  I make a couple of loaves every 2 weeks for the 2 of us.  It’s our toast bread in the morning, and it makes scrumptious sandwiches for lunch.  Or, if you’re more of a brunch person, how about this bacon, tomato jam and winter greens (radicchio, cilantro & sorrel) sandwich with an over-easy egg.

breakfast-sandwich

(click on the title below for a printable version of this recipe)

: Everyday Bread

: A basic loaf that makes fabulous toast and great sandwiches.

  • All-Purpose Flour – 4 Cups (525 g)
  • Strong Rye Flour – 1 Cup (125 g)
  • Sugar ( or honey) – 3 Tble (45 g)
  • Instant Yeast – 2½ tsp
  • Salt – 2 tsp
  • Butter, room temp – 3 Tble (45 g)
  • Egg, slightly beaten – 1 large
  • Milk, room temp – 1½ Cup (375 g)
  • Egg, whisked with 1 tsp water until frothy – for egg wash
  1. Combine the flours, sugar, yeast, salt and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix, using the paddle attachment, on low speed until the butter is in small pieces.
  2. Whisk the egg into the milk. Increase the mixer speed to medium and carefully pour in the egg/milk mixture. Once the dough has formed into a ball, change to the dough hook and scraped down the bowl.
  3. Knead with the stand mixer on medium, until the dough is soft, supple and tacky — but not sticky — about 6 minutes, scraping down the bowl as required. (You may need to add a little flour to get the right dough.  It depends on the humidity in the air.)  Pour 1 tsp oil into the bowl, roll the dough to coat, cover with a plate or towel and set aside in a warm place to rise for 1½ to 2 hours, or until the dough is doubled in size.
  4. Grease 2 loaf pans with butter.
  5. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. On a lightly floured counter, press each piece into a rectangle about 5” x 8.” Starting on the shorter end, roll up the dough one section at a time, using your thumbs to pinch the seam closed after each roll. Pinch the final seam closed, then gently rock the loaf to even it out — do not taper the ends. Repeat with the second piece of dough.
  6. Transfer the dough to the prepared pans. Ensure the loaf touches both ends of the pan to ensure an even rise. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a clean dishtowel and set aside to rise a second time, until the dough is doubled in size and cresting the top of the pans, about 1½-2 hours.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  8. Brush the tops of the loaves gently with the egg wash. Sprinkle with optional garnishes. Bake the loaves for 35-45 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through, until the tops are golden brown and the loaves sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  9. Remove the loaves from the pans immediately and cool on a rack for at least 45 minutes before slicing.
  10. Store in a paper bag on the counter to keep the crust firm and the interior fresh for 2 days.

Tips:

  • No stand mixer?  This is a relatively light-weight dough that’s easy to knead by hand.  You’ll have to knead for at least 10 minutes to get the best-textured bread.
  • No rye flour?  Use wholewheat instead, or use all white for a homemade loaf that’s way better than Wonder.
  • Once you’ve got the loaves in the pan, you may choose to slow down the rising by wrapping it tightly and putting it in the fridge.  I often bake 1 loaf immediately, and refrigerate the other loaf like this.  Keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.  Remove from the fridge 2 to 3 hours before baking as directed above.

Preparation time: 4 hour(s)

Cooking time: 45 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 12

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