I absolutely love bread. Any kind, any type, any flavor. If a restaurant serves a breadbasket before dinner I usually end up taking half my meal home because I fill myself up with bread. I also prefer white bread to brown and am not a big fan of gluten-free bread. Gluten is what gives the dough its elasticity and helps it rise.
I love baking my own bread at home from scratch. When I am in India, I love going to the bakery with my mom and stuffing my face with freshly baked, warm, crusty bread, fresh out of the oven. A lot of those breads are very hard to make at home but this particular recipe that my mom gave me turns out really well. I usually make this recipe with bread flour that is easily available at most grocery stores. Bread flour has higher gluten content and as a result the bread has an amazing chewy texture. If you cannot find bread flour you can use all-purpose flour.
This bread freezes very well. I prefer to slice it first and then freeze. It takes a while to make but there is something so satisfying and mesmerizing about the aroma and taste of freshly baked bread that makes it all worth it.
- ½ cup warm water (110 degrees)
- 14 grams active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1¼ cups warm whole milk (110 degrees)
- 3 eggs
- 6 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- ¾ tablespoon salt
- Oil for greasing
- 1 egg white lightly beaten, for egg wash
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together water, yeast and sugar. Allow them to dissolve for 5 minutes.
- Add in the milk, honey and 3 eggs. Whisk again.
- Place the bowl on the mixer with the dough hook. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour. Continue mixing until very little dry flour remains visible.
- Cut butter into pieces and distribute on the dough. Beat on lowest speed for 5 minutes.
- Wait 10 minutes and add salt. Raise the speed to medium and knead for 8-10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Invert the dough onto a floured surface and knead by hand for about a minute.
- Grease a bowl with oil, put the dough in the bowl, then turn it over so the top is lightly oiled.
- Cover the bowl with a damp towel or plastic wrap and allow it to rise in a warm place for 45 minutes until it has doubled in volume.
- Punch the dough lightly, fold into a round shape and replace the dough in the oiled bowl. Cover and let it rise again for about 45 minutes until it has doubled in volume.
- Grease two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans with oil. Invert the dough onto a floured surface and divide into half. Roll each half into a loaf shape and place each in a prepared pan.
- Cover with oiled plastic wrap and allow the loaves to rise until they have doubled in volume.
- In the meantime, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- When the dough is ready, brush the tops with egg white and bake bread for 40-45 minutes until they are deep golden in color.
- To check if they are done turn the bread out of the pan and tap the bottom. The loaves should sound hollow.
- Cool the loaves on a wire rack completely before slicing.