Milk and Honey Bread

I took some books to Left Bank Books the other day hoping to clear off some shelves and get some trade-in credit. As it turned out, I already had some credit, so I went ahead and brought a few more books home: two board books for Gabriella, and two cookbooks  for me. So much for creating more shelf space.

Among my finds was Earth to Table, a book focused on seasonal cooking. There are many good ideas in there. Among them was this milk and honey bread.

I typically lean toward whole-grain and sour dough breads, but I’m on a quest to recreate the bread my great grandmother used to make. Her white bread was tall and soft. It  is one of my earliest memories.

The recipe you see here is a revision the authors of Earth to Table posted on their website. The cookbook version doesn’t call for enough liquid, which I figured out after two failed attempts. This version makes a standard white loaf. It’s wonderful slathered with butter and some honey or jam (I had both this morning). It’s not my great grandmother’s bread, but it’s pretty darn good.

Milk and Honey Bread
revised, Earth to Table

6 cups all purpose flour
3 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon dry instant yeast
1 1/4 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cup water
1/4 cup local honey
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

In a bowl, whisk together 2 cups of the flour, salt and yeast.

In a large bowl, whisk together milk and honey. Beat in dry ingredients until combined. Using a spoon, gradually work in the remaining flour until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place in a large greased bowl, turning dough to grease all over. Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a still oven, with light on and door closed, until doubled in size, about 2 1/2 hours.

Punch down dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half, roll into two loaves and place into two lightly oiled 8-inch loaf pans. Cover with tea towels and let rise in still oven until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Brush tops with melted butter.

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Bake loaves until they are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom, about 30 minutes. Let cool on racks.


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