More Delicious Bread

This past week I tried out Mark Bittman’s “Rick Golden Bread” recipe (How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, page 714).

The result:

The recipe:

3 1/2 cups flour (I did one cup wheat and the rest white)

2 teaspoons yeast

2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoon cold butter

2 eggs

about 1 cup of milk

softened butter as needed

melted butter as needed

  1. Combine all the flour, salt , sugar, yeast, and cold butter in a bowl and mix with your hands until the butter is broken up into the dry ingredients.
  2. Slowly add 3/4 cup of milk and mix until the dough is soft and smooth.  Add the remaining milk if need-be.  It should be slightly sticky.
  3. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for a few minutes, just until it is smooth.  This is a chance to knead in more flour if you need to.  Put the dough in a bowl, cover with a plastic bag and a cloth, and let rise 2 hours.
  4. Next, divide up the dough into however many loaves you intend to make.  I cut 1/3 off and made a single small loaf with that portion and cut the remaining 2/3 into three pieces to braid for challah.
  5. Shape the loaves (for the challah, roll out each section into a snake about in inch thick and then braid them together).  Cover and leave them to rest 20 minutes on a floured surface.
  6. When they have puffed slightly, use your fingers to seal the bottoms of the loaves and place them in buttered baking pans.  Cover and let rise 2 hours.
  7. Now, baking: preheat the oven to 350.  Brush the tops of the loaves with melted butter.  Bake until golden  brown (about 40 minutes, or less with out unpredictable and hype-active oven).  As a baking guide, we sometimes pull the loaves out of their pans and knock on the bottom: when  the bread sounds hollow, it is done.

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