This is our go to house bread. I make two loaves every Saturday morning. I've rotated through several recipes over the two years or so. I enjoy the flavor and process of sourdough breads, but the flavor doesn't go with everything and you don't always have the time to deal with starter and a longer rise.
So most Saturdays it's this delicious, tender and oh so simple yeast bread. Its only an hour from grinding the wheat to starting the proof. The rise takes another hour and then it's just 45 minutes in the oven.
So it's under 3 hours and more than half of that is just waiting. But the two delicious loaves last the whole week.
I will have a separate post on why I grind my own flour. Lets just say that fats exposed to air quickly go rancid, and as soon as wheat is ground the fats inside are exposed to air. I also use an ancient form of wheat named Kamut that has not been hybridized hundreds of times like our modern varieties.
I don't sell products or receive any sponsorships, but I do like my current grain mill. It's the Komo Mio and it does a quick, cool job grinding wheat to a fine bread flour texture. I've also used the Wonder Mill and it is an excellent mill as well.
So for me step one is to grind four and a half cups of flour. For you it may be even simpler, just sift and measure the flour from the bag.
Mix all the dry ingredients together:
Heat the chicken broth up to 110 degrees fahrenheit.
Add the ghee to the chicken stock. I use ghee instead of other oils because it adds a rich buttery flavor to the bread. If you do not have ghee, don't worry about it... just replace it with olive oil or another of your favorites.
Crack two eggs into the broth mixture. If the temperature is 110 or below it will not cook the eggs. Whisk the mixture together until completely combined.
Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat with the paddle attachment for two minutes. The mixture will be wet and sticky and will need more flour to bring it together.
Sprinkle some flour into the mixer while it's beating. A little at a time add about a quarter cup of flour until the dough begins to form a loose ball and wrap around the paddle. It will pull from the sides of the mixing bowl and leave it nearly clear of dough.
Stop the mixer and replace the paddle with the dough hook.
Kneed the dough with the dough hook for about 10 minutes while I get the loaf pans ready. If you have a Kitchen Aid the dough hook should only be used on speed 2.
You can tell your dough is ready when it is clings to the dough hook and very little sticks to the sides of the mixing bowl. The dough is damp but does not cling to your fingers. It will cling to and climb the dough hook. It will make a shape I call the 'Schmoo' after the Scooby Doo.
I'm not a fan of greasing and flouring pans. Its messy work and hard to clean up. Instead, I've come to love parchment paper for the task.
For a round pan, cut a circle about 2 inches larger than your bowl (I just do a rough circle around the bowl as it sits on the paper. Then I cut 8 slits in the paper around the bowl stopping at the base of the bowl. Think of a compass with slits at North, South, East and West. Then cut slits at the intermediate positions.
For a loaf pan, set the pan on a rectangle of parchment paper and cut out triangles to the corner of the pan. I hope you can see it in the picture. It creates overlapping flaps for each side of the loaf pan.
You've created simple non stick pan liners. I do not even have to wash my bread pans after cooking. Very useful!
There are a lot of time consuming complicated ways to shape your loaf. I have not found need for any of them unless you are going to do a rise outside the pan.
Mixing with the paddle develops a strong gluten. With floured hands I just roll the dough in on itself from the backside. For a loaf pan I form the shape by switching from shaping from the sides then the top repeatedly. You will feel the dough tighter after about 4 passes. If it starts to tear, then you are there. For a circle I si
Place the loaves in a warm place with a damp towel over them. My oven has a proof setting... if yours does not, you can leave the oven light on and close the door. I've also put in a pan of warm water to heat the inside of the oven up.
After an hour proofing in my oven the loaves have risen well above their pans. Depending on the temperature of your proofing location it might take a bit longer.
I remove the loaves from the oven and preheat it to 350 degrees.
You can see here that while the oven was preheating (mines takes a long time) the loaves continued to rise. These are going to be large fluffy ones!
Once preheated I place a sheet of tinfoil over the loaves to prevent them from browning too much.
This bread has egg in it, so it will brown more easily.
After 30 minutes I remove the tinfoil to see how the browning is going. Heat had come in from the sides of these loaves and they were already fairly brown. I reshaped the tinfoil to cover the sides more and replaced it and cooked for another 15 minutes.
This is soft bread, so it will not have a tough crust that sounds hollow. Instead it will sound dry when you tap it. It will be soft but firm to the touch.
Remove your loaves from the oven lift them from the pans using the parchment paper and set on drying racks. Remove the paper and let them cool.
I keep them in gallon zip lock bags after cooling and they last for 7-10 days.