Prep 4 hrs
Cook 45 mins
This recipe comes from Food TV Canada's 'French Food At Home' with Laura Calder. It is definitely labor intensive, but well worth it! Don't take any short cuts at all.This bread is rich and delicious. Excellent for French toast, bread pudding or with home made jam. Makes 2 loaves.
- 4 1⁄2 teaspoons dry active yeast (2 envelopes)
- 6 tablespoons milk or 6 tablespoons water, warm
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 4 cups flour
- 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 3⁄4 cup butter
- 1 egg yolk
- milk, for wash
- Stir the yeast into the warm water (or milk), with the salt and sugar. Set aside for five minutes to dissolve.
- Put the flour in a bowl and make a well in it.
- Put the eggs and the yeast mixture in the well. Mix it, drawing in the flour, to make a soft, sticky dough.
- Work the dough, lifting and slapping, until it becomes soft and very smooth and elastic (this process is a long and difficult job by hand. A mixer with hook attachment is great if you have one).
- Knead the butter to soften it to the same texture as the dough. Now, work in the butter a piece at a time, again to create smooth, sticky dough (again, the mixer will make that easy).
- Let the dough rise at room temperature in a covered bowl for two hours.
- Punch down the risen dough.
- Put it back in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight to double.
- Shape the bread and let it rise 1 1/2 hours in the pan.
- Glaze with yolk and milk wash.
- Bake the loaves at 425ºF/220°C for 40 to 45 minutes.