As promised, an easy bread recipe that’ll taste great with a little butter and jam!
You will need, by order of appearance:
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/8 cup water
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 cups sifted flour
- 1¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar (Yes, that makes 2 tbsp in total)
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter
- 1 egg (I always see recipes recommending “large” eggs. I use normal, free-run ones. THINK OF THE HENS)
- 1 egg yolk stirred in a tablespoon of water for glazing
- A spatula (okay, I use two)
- Two cups or mugs
- A large bowl
- A cake mold
- A pastry brush
- An oven
- At least one hand.
Cultural note: This recipe was actually inspired by an ancient Roman milk bread recipe which calls for olive oil (I used that for my first try. I also used instant yeast, which I would not recommend.)
So, without further ado…
- In a mug or a cup, mix the yeast and 1 tbsp of brown sugar, add the milk with and the water, stir well and and microwave 25 seconds until lukewarm. Stir again, cover with plastic film and let the whole thing sit for 1/2 hour at room temperature, until the liquid is frothy and smells like someone threw up in the mug.
- In a large bowl, mix the sifted flour, the second tbsp of brown sugar and the salt. Dig a well in the center. Pour your yeast vomit in there, and add the egg. Stir with a spatula, gathering a little flour in the mixture. By now, you have a lot of flour in your bowl, and, in the center, a little bit of batter.
- Melt the butter in a mug in the microwave, and pour it slowly into your little well of batter, stir all throughout.
- From there, stir continuously with your spatula, to progressively incorporate all the flour to your dough. This technique is easy and helps avoiding getting sticky dough all over your fingers.
- Once you’re done incorporating the flour, you should have a fairly supple dough. You can add a little flour so it won’t stick to your hands at all, and start kneading it for about 15mn. I knead the dough directly in the bowl, using a pull and fold technique. (I push with my palm, which stretches the dough, I grab half of the dough, fold it over and do it again.)
- Once you have a nice ball of dough, grease your cake mold lightly, stretch the dough to a rectangular shape and place it there.
- Let the dough rise inside the cake mold at room temperature under a kitchen cloth for a couple of hours. It should triple in size and rise one inch or so above the mold’s edge.
- Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees (204°C)
- Almost ready! Now stir the egg yolk in a tablespoon of water and use a pastry brush to glaze it lightly.
- Bake for 25-30mn, depending on how brown you like it. (I bake mine 25 mn for a super soft center)
- Let the cake sit until it’s fully cooled. It should come out of the pan without any effort.