IMG_5305I was in the mood for bread baking today but didn’t want anything too complicated or time consuming,  What I really wanted was a nice loaf of white sandwich bread to have on hand for toast and sandwiches.  Digging through my folder of bread recipes I came across this one sent to be my a friend from some unknown website.  It looked rather interesting so I thought I would give it a try.

IMG_5308It is similar to a brioche in that it has butter and eggs in the dough and it does produce a very soft sticky dough like a brioche but it is definitely a plain sandwich loaf.  It produces a nice sized loaf with a firm texture and close crumb perfect for morning toast.

IMG_5309To start, proof 1 1/2 teaspoons of active dry yeast in 1/4 cup warm water with a bit of sugar.  When proofed, stir yeast mixture into 1 cup of warm whole milk and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer mix together 3 1/4 cups flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1 tablespoon sugar.  Using the dough hook and with the mixer on low slowly add the yeast/milk mixture and 1 egg.  Increase the speed to medium high and mix until the dough comes together.  If necessary add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together.  Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, then add 4 tablespoons of softened unsalted butter and continue to knead for about 5 more minutes.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board and shape it into a smooth ball.  Place the dough into a buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled (about an hour).  When doubled, turn the dough out onto a light floured board and gently deflate the dough, again form it into a smooth ball and return it to the bowl, cover and allow to rise again until doubled.  Turn the dough out, gently deflate it and then press it out into a square, fold the top down to the center, then fold the bottom up over the top.  Again press the dough gently into a square and repeat the folds.  Gently roll the dough into a log large enough to fit a bread loaf pan.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled.

Preheat the oven to 425.  Spritz the loaf with water and bake for 15 minutes.  Lower he heat to 375 and continue baking for another 25 minutes.  Cool the bread in the pan for about 10 minutes before unmolding and cool completely.