White Sweet Bread
Donut bread! That's what I really call this loaf. This is not a crusty bread. This is not a fluffy light bread. This is a dense loaf, made which good old white flour, that is a savory flavor with a really sweet finish. It tastes like a glazed donut, and you will eat it until you hate yourself! For some reason, lots of people are scared of trying to make bread. It's pretty easy. Sometimes it rises better than others; that's worse case scenario. If you accidentally make a hockey puck instead of a dinner roll, just chop it up, and turn it into bread pudding, and act like you did it on purpose. I made a loaf of olive oil rosemary bread about 5 years ago, and modified the recipe over time, so props to hungryjenny.com for the starting point. On to the recipe.
White Sweet Bread
- 4 TBSP white sugar
- 2 cups warm water, divided
- 1 Package instant yeast
- 3 TBSP olive oil (and a bit more to coat your pans)
- 2 TSP salt
- Sprinkle of course salt
- 4 1/2 cups flour
- 2 TBSP butter
I'm going to break these instructions out into steps to hopefully eliminate the intimation factor. You can see how easy it can be this way!
1. Take 1/2 cup of warm water, and mix in 4 TBSP of white sugar. Set aside for 10 minutes, and allow for yeast to foam.
2. In the bowl of your standing mixer, add in remaining warm water, 2 tbsp table salt and olive oil. Stir by hand to dissolve salt.
3. After the 10 minutes is up on the yeast, pour mixture into main mixing bowl with other wet ingredients. Stir lightly by hand.
4. With bread hook, turn mixer on medium. Add in flour 1 cup at a time, it can take 4 1/2 - 5 cups. This dough is stiff, it will be done once it grabs the hook and starts to form a ball.
5. Remove dough from bowl, and break into two even balls. Again, this dough is tough, not fluffy, don't panic at the texture.
6. Place the two balls on a oiled baking sheet. Cover with a dry clean towel and let proof for 20 minutes. Bread is fickle depending on the weather and humidity, so if it's a cooler day (the best type of day for baking bread!), I will turn the oven on low, and open the oven door all the way, and set the sheet with the proofing down onto the open door like a tray to left the warm draft spread over it.
7. After 20 minutes, on a floured surface, punch the dough down with your knuckles. Nothing crazy here Chuck Norris, just punch down the down slightly!
8. Form your dough into the desired loaf shape. I'm partial to a long and lean loaf, and I like to make a few dramatic slits across the top for decoration!
9. Place each loaf on it's own oiled baking sheet, cover with a clean dry towel, and set back on oven door for about 1 hour. You're bread will rise up to double in size, but it will stay pretty tough in texture.
10. Pre-heat your oven to 350*. Once your bread is done rising, take 2 tbsp of cold butter, and break it into 8 small equal pieces. Place pats of cool butter down the loaves, and sprinkle with course salt. Bake for 30 minutes, the top will come nice and golden brown.
11. Remove from oven, and cool on a rack. The nice heavy weight of this bread allows you to slice it thin. Again, this loaf has such a sweet finish, you will fall in love with donut bread! You've been warned ;)