This basic but slightly brioche-like bread is very soft and delicious. I've tried my best to bake like a "star" and have followed Ina's instructions (Barefoot Contessa) as closely as I could. And, I was extremely impressed with the result!
Ina Garten, you are my super-star! This is truly a 5-stars rating recipe!
|Love love love this loaf of bread!|
|Trying to bake like Ina Garten...|
|The freshly baked loaf...|
|Wow! I'm 100% impressed with this bread!|
Here's the recipe from book, Barefoot Contessa at home or Barefoot Contessa website.
(with my modification in blue)
1/2 cup warm water (110 °F)
2 packages dry yeast (I assume each package is 7g)
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 cups warm whole milk (110 °F)
6 tsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
(I prefer to use soften butter so that dough will not be too wet to handle)
1 1 /2 tbsp honey
2 extra-large egg yolks
5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour (I used bread flour)
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 egg white, lightly beaten
Note: I used half amount of the above recipe to bake only one loaf of bread.
Place the water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. (I was using a breadmaker with manual setting to mix and knead the dough in the order of Ina's instructions). If the bowl is cold, be sure the water temperature doesn’t drop below 110 °F. Add the yeast and sugar; stir and allow them to dissolve for 5 min.
Add the milk, butter, and honey. Mix on medium speed until blended. Add the egg yolks, 3 cups of the flour (1 1/2 cup for one loaf), and the salt. Mix on low speed for about 5 min. With the mixer still on low speed, add 2 more cups of flour (1 cup for one loaf). Raise the speed to medium and slowly add just enough of the remaining flour so the dough doesn’t stick to the bowl. Add the flour slowly; you can always add more but you can’t take it out (I tried not to add too much flour and added only 1 tbsp extra - for one loaf). Knead on medium speed for about 8 min, adding flour as necessary. (I realised that dough will be smooth after this kneading step.)
Dump the dough out onto a floured surface and knead by hand for a min, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Grease a bowl with butter, put the dough in the bowl, then turn it over so the top is lightly buttered. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and allow it to rise for one hour, until doubled in volume.
Grease two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans with butter (I used one 10 cm x 20 cm loaf pan). Divide the dough in half, roll each half into a loaf shape and place each in a prepared pan. Cover again with the damp towel, and allow to rise again for an hour, until doubled in volume.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F (or 160°C fan forced). When the dough is ready, brush the tops with the egg white and bake the breads for 40 to 45 min (I baked mine for 40 min), until they sound hollow when tapped. Turn them out of the pans and cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
This is not the end of this post yet...
Got some leftover bread? Got 15 min to cook? This gourmet-style Bill Granger's Ham and Gruyère French Toast recipe might be the one for you...
These French toasts seems to be very basic but they are really very good! I know that I sounds like a DASH-perate housewife recommending this recipe but I actually feel good sharing such an efficient recipe with everyone.
Here's the recipe from the book, Best of Bill by Bill Granger
(with my modification in blue)
freshly ground black pepper
4 slices white bread, 3 cm thick (I used the above honey white bread)
2 tsp dijon mustard
4 slices leg ham, trimmed to fit bread
4 slices Gruyère cheese, trimmed to fit bread
1 tbsp olive oil
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the eggs, milk, salt and pepper into a large bowl. Whisk to combine.
With a sharp, thin-bladed knife, carefully slit open one side of each slice of bread to form a pocket, leaving 1 cm around the edges. Spread the mustard on one side of the pocket and place a slice of ham and cheese inside. Put the pockets into a shallow dish. Pour over the egg mixture and leave for 5 min (I did mine for less than a min for each side) turning once.
Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium to high heat, add half the olive oil and swirl to coat the base of the pan. Add two bread pockets, cook on one side for about 2 min until golden brown, turn and cook for another min. Remove from the pan and place on a baking tray. Repeat with the remaining oil and bread pockets. Place the baking tray in the oven and cook for 10 min or until hot and the cheese has melted.
Note: Using half the amount of eggs and milk, I can make 3 french toasts with 3 slices of ham, cheese (2 slices of Gruyère and 1 slice of Fontina) and bread.
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