About this Recipe
Perfectly moist with a hint of buttery sweetness. This bread makes amazing sandwiches and will have you walking right past the bread aisle at the grocery store!
7 grams / 2 tsp. Active Dry Yeast
3 fl-oz /90 mL Filtered Water (90 degrees F)
Pinch of Sugar
3 1/2-4 Cups / 525 grams All-Purpose Flour
plus extra flour, added to texture (appx 1 Cup)
2 Tbsp / 40 grams granulated sugar
1/2 Tbsp / 10 grams Salt
1 1/2 Tbsp / 20 grams Unsalted Butter
10.5 fl-oz / 300 mL Filtered Water (90 degrees F)
4 Tbsp Butter, divided 3 ways
(for greasing bowl/glazing loaf- before and after baking)
Bloom the yeast
Portion dry ingredients
Portion/add wet ingredients
Mix dough, knead, proof
Roll dough out, roll up, proof
Preheat oven, butter dough
Bake ~30 min @ 400 degrees
Butter crust, cool 10 min
Turn out onto cooling rack
Photos by Step...
Bloom your yeast: Portion your filtered water into a measuring glass or other microwave-safe dish and bring to 90 degrees F. In my microwave, this takes approximately 12 seconds, but it will vary! I like to use a probe-thermometer to test the temperature and get it as close as possible. Just make sure it doesn't get too warm, or it can kill the yeast. Once your water is ready, add in all the yeast and a pinch of sugar before giving it a gentle swirl with a spoon to incorporate a bit. Set this aside while preparing the rest of your ingredients (and watch as it grows!)
Portion your dry ingredients. In the bowl to your stand mixer (or whatever bowl you're mixing in), weigh/scoop your flour, sugar, and salt. I like to weigh the sugar and salt independently in smaller bowls, adding them to the main bowl when I'm satisfied I have the right measurement. You don't have to do this, but it's nice if you like the added insurance.
If you're scooping your flour with measuring cups, be sure not to pack the flour down into the cup. I like to scoop and sort of shake the cup back and forth a bit to level the flour. I can see the flour jiggle a bit in the cup, indicating that there aren't any big air pockets, but there is enough room for the flour to shift around a tiny bit. Generally, I prefer weighing my flour out, since consistency makes such a huge difference in baking and it removes any guesswork. Also, I love not having to wash the extra dishes!
Using a wire whisk, mix the flour, sugar, and salt together, so they will more easily combine evenly into a dough in the next step
Portion and add your wet ingredients. In a separate bowl or measuring cup, ready your 300 mL of filtered water, hopefully close to 90 degrees (but not a big deal if it's a bit cooler). Add to your bowl of flour, along with your portioned butter and bloomed yeast.
Has your cup of yeast-water gotten super bubbly and tall? It should have at least doubled in height over the past 10-20 minutes. If it hasn't bubbled or grown significantly in that time, your yeast may be inactive and need to be replaced.
Start mixing your dough. Using the dough hook attachment for your stand mixer, lock everything into place and start mixing your dough on low to medium-low, depending on how powerful your mixer is. Let it mix for a couple of minutes and check to see how wet or dry your dough is. If the dough looks very sticky and isn't coming together into one cohesive ball, add a bit more flour. I typically add about 1/3 of a cup at a time, letting it mix for a moment, then adding more if it still looks too wet. You may end up adding another cup or more, but I prefer adding more flour over having to add moisture. Once your dough looks like it's holding together on the hook, let it mix for a good 8 minutes while you clean up, read ahead, or just chill.
I have this stand mixer, and I typically use the 2-4 setting for breads and batters, rarely toggling the 6 and mostly starting on 2 and moving to 4. But YOU should use your best judgment!
If you're kneading by hand, I wish you luck! Clear off a little work area that you can dust with flour and knead over. I haven't tried this one by hand yet (although I should, for the sake of editing this post!). First, mix your dough with a wooden spoon until it comes together, adding more flour until you're able to get it into one ball without it sticking too terribly to any given surface it touches. Once your dough is starting to pull together, turn it over onto your flour work surface. For the sake of clarity, here is a link to a video clearly illustrating how the knead your dough.
Grease a medium-sized mixing bowl with butter. Transfer your dough ball in to the bowl and cover it with some plastic wrap or a damp towel and set it in a peaceful spot on the counter, where it is hopefully in the neighborhood of 70 degrees F. If it's especially warm, keep an eye on your dough, because it likely won't need to ferment as long!
Let your dough ferment for 1-2 hours, checking on it after the first hour. It can be helpful to snap a picture of your dough from the start for comparison. We're looking for the dough to nearly double in size. Once it looks to be at that point, go ahead and prepare your work surface with fresh flour to roll the dough out.
Roll your bread dough out. The dough will be pillowy-soft at this point and should be fairly easy to flatten and extend with a rolling pin. Be sure to sprinkle some flour over the top as you go, to prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling pin. In one dimension, the goal is for the dough to be as wide as your bread pan is long. In the other dimension, we want to extend the dough evenly into a rectangle, fit to roll up like a Swiss Roll. In the end, you'll have a fairly flat, smooth rectangle of dough, roughly 9"x16" (give or take, depending on your pan)
Roll your flattened dough up into a log. I like to keep my bread pan sitting along the top of my dough, to keep an accurate depiction of how long to keep my dough log as I roll. The dough is fairly stretchy, so there are moments I am more careful not to stretch, and others where I tug a bit to even the dough out or extend a little. In the end, we're shooting for an even log of dough that will fit comfortably in our pan. Once it's rolled up, pinch the ends shut to ensure the layers don't separate in the oven. Transfer your dough-log to the bread pan and cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel.
Final proof for your dough should take about an hour. It's helpful, again, to snap a picture of your dough at the start of the proofing cycle for comparison sake. When my dough log was first moved to the bread pan, I could still see the bottom of the pan around the edges. When it was finished proofing, the dough looked smooth and inflated, and the bottom edges of the pan were no longer visible. I could clearly see that the dough had essentially filled the pan, which was right where it needed to be. The top of the dough was just barely clearing the top of the pan.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. When you believe it's nearly time to bake, go ahead and heat up the oven and get some butter ready to melt. Melt about 1-2 tablespoons of butter, remove the covering from your pan, and brush butter all over the exposed surface of your dough. Be generous, this is going to help create a gorgeous, golden-brown crust with a delicious, buttery flavor.
When your oven is hot and your loaf is buttered up, go ahead and bake (on the center rack) for about 30 minutes, or until the crust has taken on a golden-brown color and the internal temperature of the bread reaches 195 degrees F. Immediately after removing your bread from the oven, brush another tablespoon or so of melted butter over the top. This will seep into the bread and moisten the outer crust, encouraging clean slices and a delicious, tender crust. Leave your bread in the pan for about 10 minutes to cool, then turn it out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
Allow your bread to cool for at least 1 hour. I find that I get my best slices the following day, but that doesn't mean you can't slice your bread at any point after it has cooled a bit. Just note, it may be a little messy or "cakey" while slicing if you cut into it too hastily--but it will still be delicious!
More about this recipe
How long does this bread last?
My bread is typically gone within a couple days, having 3 other humans in my household, but it seems to keep pretty well for a good 3-4 days on the counter in an air-tight bag. After that, it might become stale or less tender, it might even become moldy if conditions are right. In the summer, I like to keep it in a cooler spot. I like to slice the whole loaf at once, then fit a few slices/bag with whatever we don't eat after the first meal-time.
What if it's too warm or cold in my kitchen?
It happens, we can't always keep our space a comfortable, consistent temperature. If your space is a bit on the colder side, proofing will take longer. If it's on the warmer side, proofing time will be accelerated. If it's too cold, your dough will proof very slowly, and the opposite is true for the temperature being much too hot. In an effort to hold realistic expectations with this recipe, I would advise keeping your space between 65-80 degrees while making bread.