Too bad for our friendly birds who get the leftover breads that dry out:-(
I baked two different breads this afternoon--a white, butter-topped loaf and an apple spice twist loaf...all from the same dough. There's a definite change in season upon us and, as much as I'm fighting it, I'll have start using the F-word..Fall! The leaves are scattered over our lawn and the deck, the pond is quiet where just a few months ago there were new goslings born, and the nights have a definite chill about them. Baking bread is a good Fall activity; I know, I use to bake bread with my mom all the time in the cooler months (we didn't have air conditioning!).
Basic Bread Loaf Dough
1 1/2 cups milk
4 T unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. Kosher salt
2 T SAF Gold Instant Yeast
6 cups, plus more for kneading King Arthur Flour
1/4 cup Potato flour
1/3 cup water
4 to 6 T unsalted butter, melted for brushing the bowl the dough rises in, the baking pans, on top of the dough-before and after baking.
Two 5" x 9" loaf pans
For the Sweet Apple Twist Bread:
1 small apple
3/4 tsp. apple pie spice
2 T light brown sugar, packed
2 T granulated sugar
Measure the milk into a 2-cup Pyrex measure and cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes. Microwave about 1 minute, adding an addition 20 to 30 seconds to make sure the butter has melted. Set aside.
In a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the sugar, eggs, and salt. While the mixer is running on low, slowly add the milk/butter mixture. Then, add the yeast, while running the mixer on low. Stop the mixer and let this mixture rest for 5 to 7 minutes for the yeast to activate.
Change the paddle attachment for the dough hook. Add half of the flour and start mixing on Speed #2. Add the last 3 cups of flour and the potato flour, plus the water. Mix until the dough comes together and leaves the side of the bowl.
Lightly dust your workspace (or bread board) with flour. Transfer the dough and knead an addition 5 minutes or until it comes together into a smooth ball.
Brush a large bowl (or as I used, bucket) with melted butter. Place the dough, upside down, then, flip it over; this gets the melted butter on the top of the dough. If using a bowl, place plastic wrap tightly over the bowl.
Because this is an "instant" yeast, it doesn't take long for this dough to rise--30 to 40 minutes (this is quick for a sweet bread!) Divide the dough in half.
For the Butter-top White Bread, I divided one of the dough balls in half again and rolled each into a rope about 9 inches. Brush the pans with some melted butter and place the ropes side-by-side into one of the pans.
Brush the tops with melted butter and place a piece of plastic wrap over it so the dough doesn't dry out while you're making the Apple Twist Bread. For this bread, divide in half into two pieces and roll the dough to a 4" x 10" rectangle. Brush the dough with melted butter, then, divide the apple/spice mixture in half, bring the ends together and seal. Roll the bread rolls back and forth on the board to seal. Repeat with the second half. Twist the rolls together and place in the prepared pan. Brush the top with melted butter like you did for the Butter-top Bread.
Cover with plastic wrap and let both breads rise once more. Preheat oven to 350F-degrees and when the oven comes up to temperature, the dough is ready to go into the oven!
|I also covered the pans with a cotton towel to keep any drafts off of them!|
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes; they should be golden brown and when tapped on top, sound hallow.
|Brush both loaves with additional melted butter|
Yes, Fall is definitely sneaking in, but baking bread, for me, is one way of saying good bye to a glorious summer and looking forward to another season. Enjoy!