Like this one, most of my favorite "go-to" recipes are Peter Reinhart's or variations of his recipes. This is the recipe I make for parties or guests that I know aren't whole grain fans like we are. If you weigh ingredients, you'll get amazing consistency. $25 will get you a very good scale these days (and is great for dieters). The yeast amounts can be varied for improved flavor but increased rise times. Loaves and rolls can be retarded either as bulk dough or shaped rolls and loaves. I do this for convenience, for flavor, and I like the tiny white bubbles or spots on the surface refrigeration causes.
- 539 g unbleached bread flour (4 1/8 cups)
- 8 g instant yeast (2 teaspoons)
- 1 large egg (47 g, beaten slightly)
- 57 g butter (1/4 cup, room temp, margarine or oil works as well)
- 341 g buttermilk (1 1/2 cups at room temp)
- 43 g sugar (3 tablespoons)
- 11 g salt (1 1/2 teaspoons table salt)
- 1 egg
- 4.92 ml water
- sesame (optional) or poppy seed (optional)
- Mix all dry ingredients except salt.
- Mix egg, and buttermilk and melted butter.
- Add liquids to dry ingredients until a uniform dough is made (may be shaggy at this time).
- Cover and let sit for 20 minutes to strengthen dough.
- Add salt.
- Knead by hand or mixer for 8 minutes. In a mixer, the dough will clean the sides of the bowl, but the bottom may stick some so take time during the kneading to mix the dough from top to bottom once or twice.
- Also during the kneading add flour or water to make a soft and tacky but not sticky dough. Sticky means dough stays on the fingers when touched.
- Test for a windowpane (stretch some to see if it tears or is thin enough to show light through). Knead a little more if necessary.
- Let the dough rise in oiled and covered bowl until doubled (60 minutes or so).
- For rolls: divide into 2 ounce portions and stretch a smooth side to form a ball. Roll with a cupped hand on a clean surface to smooth it out. The ball can take some downward pressure.
- Place on parchment 1" apart, cover and let rise for 20 to 45 minutes or unitl almost doubled in volume.
- For loaves: divide into 2 loaves, shape and place in 8 x 4" pans.
- Let rise covered, for 45 to 60 min until doubled or just shy of doubled.
- Preaheat oven to 400 F and drop temps once bread is placed in the oven.
- Bake loaves at 350F until 205F internally, rotating in oven after 20 minutes.
- Brush rolls with egg-water mixture if desired.
- Bake rolls at 375F until 205F internally (15 to 20 min) rotating the pan half-way during the bake.
- Remove bread from pans or parchment and cool on a rack.
Made these today with some minor changes, organic honey instead of sugar and vegetable oil instead of butter. They turned out great the buttermilk gives them a lovely creamy texture and flavour. I will make these again, thanks for the recipe :))