February 12, 2020
"This recipe combines a recipe from my mother, Constance Wagner, and one in THE JOY OF COOKING by Irma S. Rombauer. I slice the loaves and freeze them by wrapping closely in foil and putting the foil packages in a plastic freezer bag, with wax paper in between the slices. Frozen bread can be kept in the freezer for 6 months but starts to lose its quality after about 8 weeks. The glazed crust makes this bread exceptionally good."
- FOR DORURE (GLAZED CRUST) - optional
- Serving Size: 1 (35.8 g)
- Calories 89.5
- Total Fat - 2.2 g
- Saturated Fat - 1.2 g
- Cholesterol - 22.3 mg
- Sodium - 234.6 mg
- Total Carbohydrate - 14.7 g
- Dietary Fiber - 0.5 g
- Sugars - 2 g
- Protein - 2.3 g
- Calcium - 6.4 mg
- Iron - 0.3 mg
- Vitamin C - 0 mg
- Thiamin - 0 mg
Have ingredients at 75'.
Dissolve yeast and sugar in the ½ cup warm water. The yeast should start working within a few minutes, should dissolve in about 10 minutes without stirring.
Let mixture stand in a warm place about 10 minutes.
Beat in the beaten egg, melted butter, the 2 cups lukewarm water, salt, and sugar.
Sift the flour if needed.
Start stirring the flour into the dissolved yeast mixture with a wooden spoon. Mix in half the flour gradually, and beat about 1 minute.
Then mix in the rest by hand, sprinkling it onto the dough just until it no longer sticks to hands or the board, or when it starts leaving the sides of the bowl.
Turn dough onto lightly floured board. To flour the board, use less than 1 tablespoon of flour for each cup of flour in recipe. The less flour used for this, the lighter the dough.
Cover with a cloth and let rest 10-15 minutes.
Turn dough out on board. It should be slightly sticky when first turned out but will become smooth and elastic through continued kneading.
First kneading (10 minutes): Done by exerting pressure not heavy or rough. To knead, fold the dough over toward you, then press into it with heel of hand, give it a slight turn, fold it and press it again. Repeat rhythmically until dough becomes smooth and satiny. Air bubbles will appear just under the surface, and now the dough should no longer stick to the board or cloth.
Grease a large bowl evenly, put dough in it and turn it over so the whole surface is lightly greased. Cover bowl with a damp cloth, well wrung out.
Set dough to rise at 75'-85' F., away from drafts. Too warm, and the bread will be coarse and yeasty-tasting. Too cool, and the bread will be heavy and solid.
After about 2 hours, it should have doubled in bulk. If it more than doubles in bulk, the bread will be coarse and dry. To test whether it's risen enough, press the dough firmly with fingertips to see if an imprint remains.
Punch dough down with a balled fist. Work the edges to the center and turn the bottom to the top.
Second kneading (gives a finer grain): This can be done in the bowl and takes only a few minutes.
Pinch the dough into 3 equal-sized pieces and shape lightly into mounds.
Put the pieces on a board, cover with a cloth, and let rest for 10 minutes while you grease 3 5"x9" loaf pans.
To form a loaf, throw one of the pieces of dough down onto the board. Use (very lightly floured) rolling pin or palm of hand to press it evenly before forming. Make a circle, then fold 4 curved segments of it toward the center to make a rectangle. Roll, using heel of hand to fasten one loop to the next as you roll. Then, with stiffened hands at either end of the roll, compress the short ends and seal the loaf, folding under any excess as you slide dough into pan. The finished dough MUST contact the short ends of the pan to support dough as it rises. You may grease top of loaf lightly.
Cover pans with a damp cloth and let dough rise to almost double in bulk. When ready to bake, loaf will be symmetrical and will allow a slight impression to remain when pressed lightly with fingers.
Put in cold oven. Turn to 400' F.
After 15 minutes reduce heat to 375' F. and bake 25 minutes longer. Tests for doneness: Loaf will shrink from sides of pans slightly. Also, tap bottom of pan to release loaf, then tap bottom of loaf, and if there is a hollow sound, bread is done. If not, return to pan and bake a few minutes longer.
Remove at once from pans and put on wire rack to cool, away from drafts, which would cause shrinkage.
For optional dorure (glazed crust), dilute 1 egg yolk with 1-2 tablespoons milk (or water) and brush on top of loaves toward end of baking.
For a brown crust, brush on milk at end of baking time.
Let bread cool COMPLETELY before wrapping, storing, or freezing. Allow 3 hours for cooling.
Tips & Variations
- If a yeast cake is used, it should be light grayish tan, should crumble readily, should break with a clean edge and should smell pleasantly aromatic. When old, it is brownish.