The thing that I love the most about summer in addition to the sunshine and happiness is the warmth!
It has actually been so warm lately that I’ve been able to let my dough rise on the kitchen counter instead of having to preheat the oven to use it as a make-shift proofing oven.
So naturally, baking bread quickly became the go-to option when it came to deciding what to bake. I mean seriously! During all the other seasons, it would take me a good 2 hours to achieve the rise I wanted!
But it only took an hour of counter-top rising to go from this freshly kneaded dough…
To this amazingly soft risen masterpiece.
I feel as though baking bread is one of the things that bakers tend to avoid because it sound far more intimidating than it actually is. Honestly, once you get the hang of it, everything becomes so much easier and what seems like a long preparation time is really just a lot of waiting around!
The thing that is so amazing about this particular recipe is the use of a gelatinized dough. This enhances the elasticity of the dough without jeopardizing the flavor of the bread because it helps maintain the moisture of the bread.
And essentially ever since I discovered and “mastered” this method of bread making, I’ve never gone back because gone are the days where I would wake up to dry, dense day old bread that may be great for repurposing into breadcrumbs or french toast but I’m not about that.
I need my soft, fluffy bread.
So if you’re anything like me, this recipe is going to be perfect for you to try out. I must inform you though that this loaf is extremely addicting and I take no responsibility for what happens after your bake!
What are your favorite types of bread? So you enjoy the crispy, crunchy outer crust of artisan loaves or do you prefer the soft texture of sandwich breads?
- 2½ cups + 3 tablespoons bread flour
- ½ cup water
- 2 teaspoons yeast
- ½ cup warm milk (or soy/coconut/almond milk)
- 1 egg (substitute by adding 2 tablespoons more milk/oil)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil (or butter)
- Make the tangzhong by putting the 3 tablespoons of bread flour and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk the tangzhong until it thickens and swirls form. Then remove from heat and stir it for another 30 seconds so it can thicken a little more.
- In a measuring cup mix the yeast, warm milk and a sprinkle of sugar together; set aside until foamy. Then, put the sugar, salt, 2½ cups of bread flour, and coconut oil in a large bowl.
- Whisk in an egg then pour in the milk mixture and the cooled tangzhong into the flour mixture.
- Stir everything together to form a dough (if it still feels sticky you may need to add a bit more flour).
- Knead the dough for 15 – 25 minutes until smooth and elastic.
- Let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
- While your dough is rising, prepare your raisins by re-hydrating them in warm water for 20 minutes before straining them. If you would like a richer flavor, you may use wine instead of water.
- When your dough is ready, place it on a floured surface and punch it down a few times to let the air escape.
- Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces and roll them out into equally sized logs. Braid the dough by interlacing and weaving the pieces.
- Let the loaf rise in a lined loaf pan covered for 30 minutes before putting them in the oven. At this time you can preheat your oven to 350F
- Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes until the bottom is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped