Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sweet Bread

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Sweet bread
Sweet bread

I don't really have a name for this bread, so I just consider it sweet bread.  Not to be confused with sweet breads, of course, that is something else entirely.  When coming up with my everyday bread recipe, I wanted something that is comparable in price to store-bought bread, healthier, with plenty of grains mixed in.  This bread is the opposite of those goals -- it is rich and definitely an indulgence.  This recipe is one that I have been using since I first started making bread when I was not quite a teenager yet - so 10 or 11 years old.  I have no idea where the recipe came from, it is the one I have memorized and have never forgotten.

I have not made this bread in a long time.  I was talking to a good friend of mine and we were discussing old bread recipes and I remembered this one.  This bread is the kind where the entire loaf disappears in a day and you just hope you had help eating it - otherwise you would have eaten the whole thing yourself!

Sweet Bread
This sweet soft white bread is the base that I use for homemade cinnamon rolls, braided lemon bread, slider buns and other sweeter and more delicate recipes. It makes the best sandwiches every single time.
  • 2 cups very warm milk
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 Tbs yeast
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted and cooled
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbs kosher salt
  • 6 - 7 cups white bread flour

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer (or regular bowl) combine the milk and honey and then sprinkle the yeast over the top. Let the yeast proof until it dissolves and gets a bit foamy.
  2. Add all of the rest of the ingredients using 6 cups of the flour and mix well. Continue to add in the last cup of flour as needed until your dough is soft and pliable but not at all sticky.
  3. Using the dough hook or by hand, knead the bread for 10 minutes. Transfer the dough to a large well oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise until doubled in size, about one hour.
  4. Prepare 2 loaf pans by lightly oiling the sides of the pan. Once the dough is doubled in size, divide into 2 equal parts. I use a scale to do this but you can eyeball it too. Flatten out each piece in a rough rectangle shape that is the width of the loaf pan and about 10 inches long. Gently roll the dough into a loaf and place into the pan. Slice three equally spaced vents into the loaf.
  5. Cover the pans with a towel or cling wrap and let it rise a last time, just until the dough about 1 inch over the rim of the pan. This will take about 20 - 30 minutes.
  6. Pre-heat your oven to 350 (F). Once the bread finishes its second rise move it to the oven and bake for 30 - 35 minutes, or until the bread is 200 - 205 (F) in the middle. Remove the bread immediately from the pans and cool on a wire rack. Store once the bread has reached room temperature.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2 loaves