I purchased the Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice and had to share this wonderful recipe. This bread is so tender and soft. Just perfect!!!
Classic White Bread
(Source: Peter Reinhart The Bread Baker’s Apprentice pages 265-269)
Makes two 1-pound loaves, 18 dinner rolls, or 12 burger or hot dog buns
4¼ cups (19 ounces) unbleached bread flour
1½ teaspoons (.38 ounces) salt
3 tablespoons (1.5 ounces) sugar
2 teaspoons (.22 ounce) instant yeast
1 large (1.65 ounces) egg, slightly beaten, at room temperature
¼ cup (2 ounces) butter, margarine, or shortening, at room temperature, or vegetable oil
1½ cups (12 ounces) buttermilk or whole milk, at room temperature
1 egg, whisked with 1 teaspoon water until frothy, for egg wash (optional)
sesame or poppy seeds for garnish (optional)
1. Mix together the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in a 4-quart bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer). Pour in the egg, butter, and milk and mix with a large metal spoon (or on low-speed of the electric mixer with the paddle attachment) until all the flour is absorbed and the dough forms a ball. If the dough seems very stiff and dry, trickle in more milk until the dough is soft and supple.
2. Sprinkle flour on the counter, transfer the dough to the counter, and begin kneading (or mix on medium speed with the dough hook), adding more flour, if necessary, to create a dough that is soft, supple, and tacky but not sticky. Continue kneading (or mixing) for 6 to 8 minutes. (In the electric mixer, the dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick ever to slightly to the bottom.) The dough should pass the windowpane test and register 80° F. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Ferment for 2 hours. Shape loaves in pans and set for another 60-90 minutes.
Make loaves for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. For buns bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.