Its nice to have all of this clarification, but yeah. . . it is a little long.
I have made this bread so many times now that I don't have to read the directions, just make sure I add the right amount of ingredients. It is fun to work with the dough, it is silky soft. You can probably tell that I made the bread at night, because of the tint of my pictures. Its just that, when the need for fresh bread hits, resistance is futile. I HAVE to make it. now. So as usual, I cant wait for it to cool properly because everyone in the house is hovering over it. Yohann finally goes, "well are we going to cut it open, or just look at it all night."Right now as my mom glances over my shoulder, she's telling me wants me to make another batch of this bread for our 12 hour car ride tonight and tomorrow. When I get back I will have lots of pictures of the beach for you to see! : D
Basic soft white sandwich loaf
The bread bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum
- 2 1/4 cups plus 2 1/2 tbs all purpose flour.
- 1 3/4 cup water
- 2 tbs + 1tsp honey
- 3/4 tsp instant yeast
- 2 cups + 3tbs all purpose flour
- 1/4 dry milk
- 3/4 tsp instant yeast
- 9 tbs butter softened
- 2 1/4 tsp salt
-->Mix the dough.
-->Add the salt and butter to the bowl and, with a wooden spoon or with your hand, stir until all the flour is moistened. Knead the dough in the bowl until it comes together, then scrape it onto a lightly floured counter. Knead the dough for 5 minutes, enough to develop the gluten structure a little, addind as little of the reserved flour as possible to keep the dough from sticking. Use a bench scraper to scrape the dough and gather it together as you knead it. At this point, it will be very sticky. Cover it with an inverted bowl and allow it to rest for 20 minutes. (This resting time will make the dough less sticky and easier to work with).
-->Knead the dough for another 5 minutes or until it is very smooth and elastic. It should still be tacky enough to cling slightly to your fingers a little. If the dough is still very sticky, however, add some of the remaining reserved flour, or a little extra.
-->Shape the dough and let it rise. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and cut it in half. Shape each piece into a loaf; the exact size is not important at this point. (A long side of the dough should be facing toward you). Dimple the dough with your fingers to deflate any large bubbles. Fold over the right side of the dough to a little past the center. Fold over the left side of the dough to overlap it slightly. Press the center overlap section with the side of your hand to seal the dough. Starting at the top end of the dough, roll it over three or four times, until it reaches the bottom edge of the dough: with each roll, press with your thumbs to seal it and at the same time push it away from you slightly to tighten the outer skin. As you roll and press, the dough will become wider. If it is not as long as the pan, place both hands close together on top of the dough and, rolling back and fourth, gradually work your way towards the ends, gently stretching the dough. For the most even shape, it is important to keep a tight skin on the surface of the dough and not to tear it. If you want the edges of the loaf to be smooth, tuck the sides under. Place the loaves in the prepared loaf pans; the dough will be about 1/2 inch from the top of the pans. Cover them with a large container, or cover them loosely with oiled plastic wrap, and allow to rise until the center is about 1 inch above the sides of the pan, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. When the dough is pressed with a fingertip, the depression will very slowly fill inches
-->Preheat the oven. Preheat the oven to 350F 45 minutes before baking. Have an oven shelf at the lowest level and place a baking stone or a baking sheet on it, and a cast-iron skillet or sheet pan on the floor of the oven, before preheating.
-->Bake the bread. Quickly but gently set the pans on the hot baking stone or hot baking sheet. Toss 1/2 cup of ice cubes into the pan beneath and immediately shut the door. Bake for 50 minutes or until medium golden brown and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean (an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center will read about 210F). Halfway through baking, turn the pans around for even baking.
-->Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack, for as long as you can manage ; )