Now that we are at the end of February, things are picking up really fast with all the midterms and mid-semester projects. Added to that, job applications and interviews are also filling up spaces in my Google Calendar, which is both exciting and stressful. This means endless nights of cover letter parties and interview practices.
This is why we need a good loaf of bread to carb-load for all these brain-draining activities. Or, you know, you can be normal and use it for sandwiches and toasts. I still have not fully mastered the art of making sandwich breads, evidenced by the still somewhat dense loaves. This bread, although still a bit dense, can be sliced very thinly without crumbling apart. This makes it possible to have them fairly thin to make heart sandwiches.
The inside of the bread is very soft and keeps very well for a few days so you can have endless morning toasts and lunch sandwiches. Since the inside crumb is a bit dense, you can also use this for French Toasts and the bread will soak up all the eggy mixture, without breaking apart when fried.
adapted from Arthur King Flour
1¼ cup 2% milk
1 heaping tablespoon honey
1 package active dry yeast
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons soft butter
4 cups AP flour
Heat up milk until warm to touch but not too hot that your finger can’t handle it. Swirl in honey and try to mix it in. You can microwave it a bit to ensure it being well-mixed. Sprinkle yeast on top of the warm milk (make sure you’ve had the temperature down a bit if you microwave it again with honey).
Incorporate the rest of the ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon. After getting the dough relatively together, move the dough onto a floured surface. Knead for about 10-12 minutes or until dough is elastic and smooth. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl and cover with a cloth or greased plastic wrap. Let it rise in a warm spot for 1½ to 2 hours.
After letting the dough rises, punch it down and shape it into a loaf. I usually roll it out a little bit and then just roll the dough into a log. Cover and let the dough rises again for about 2 hours or until the dough rises over the pan.
Towards the end of rising time, preheat the oven to 350F. Bake the bread for about 20 minutes before covering it lightly with an aluminium foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes. If you have a thermometer, check the temperature of the bread. The inside should be 195 to 200F.
Brush the top of the bread with butter and let it cool off. You got to have some patience but a perfectly cooled off bread means better quality breads!