I acquired this milk dough recipe from a book by Peter Reinhart entitled Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day. I've changed it and removed the milk--guess I can't call it a milk dough bread any longer.
Makes 2 loaves of bread:
1 tablespoon (.33 oz) instant yeast
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (15 oz) lukewarm milk (I use water.)
6 1/4 cups (28 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour (I measure the flour with a postal scale and I primarily use bread flour instead of all purpose flour.)
2 teaspoons (.5 oz) salt, or 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
5 1/2 tablspoons (2.75oz) sugar, or 1/4 cup honey or agave nectar
6 tablespoons (3 oz/100 ml) vegetable oil or melted unsalted butter (I use canola oil.)
1 egg (1.75 oz)
Do AheadHow Peter does it: Whisk the yeast into the lukewarm milk until dissolved. Set aside for 1 to 5 minutes. Combine flour, salt, sugar, oil, and egg in a mixing bowl, then pour in the milk mixture. If using a mixer, use the paddle attachment and mix on the lowest speed for 2 minutes. If mixing by hand, use a large spoon and stir for about 2 minutes. The dough should be coarse and slightly sticky.
Switch to the dough hook and mix on medium-low speed for 4 to 5 minutes, until the dough is soft, supple, and tacky but not sticky. Whichever mixing method you use, knead the dough by hand for 1 minute, then form it into a ball.
Place the dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight or for up to 4 days. (If you plan to bake the dough in batches over different days, you can portion the dough and place it into two or more oiled bowls at this stage.)
How I do it: I place all the ingredients in the order listed in a bread machine which I bought for $20 on KSL.com and push the "manual dough" button. If I want two batches of dough, and I usually do, I place another set of the ingredients in my Kitchenaid mixing bowl and attached the kneading hook, not the paddle. I shut off the bread machine before it applies heat for the rising of the the dough, unless I forget to stop it. I punch it down (if I forgot it) and put it in the refrigerator in the bread machine container covered with oiled plastic wrap touching, covering and sealing the top of the dough. I let the Kitchenaid mixer knead the ingredients for 5 to 10 minutes and then cover the dough with oiled plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator too. Sometimes I put the batches together, but the dough tends to rise over the top of the bowl.
Baking DayFor Sandwich Bread
Remove the dough from the refrigerator about 2 1/2 hours before you plan to bake and divide it in half; each piece should weight about 25 ounces, which is perfect for 4 1/2 by 8-inch pans. For a 5 by 9-inch pan, use 28-32 ounces of dough. Shape into sandwich loaves, then place them in greased loaf pans to rise. (You can also make a variety of different rolls.) Mist the dough with spray oil and cover the pans loosely with plastic wrap; then let the dough rise at room temperature for about 2 1/2 hours until it domes about 1 inch above the rims of the pans. About 15 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 350 F.
Bake for 20 minutes, then rotate the pans and bake for another 20 to 30 minutes. The bread is done when the top is golden brown, the sides are firm and brown, the loaf sounds hollow when thumped on the bottom and the internal temperature is at least 185 F in the center. Remove from the pans and cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before slicing or serving.
For Cinnamon Swirl Bread
When forming the loaves divide dough in two portions. Pat each portion into about a 8 by 15 inch rectangle. Drizzle with about 2 tablespoons of oil. Sprinkle each of the dough rectangles with 1/3 cup of white sugar. Sprinkle each rectangle with 2 tablespoons of cinnamon. Roll the rectangle jelly roll style and pinch the seam closed. Tuck under each end of the loaf and place in a greased bread pan. I put a 12 inch strip of parchment paper lengthwise in the pan before I place the dough. This helps with removal of the loaf after baking. Bake as described above.
After baking and cooling the loaves cut them into six slices for extra thick French toast slices.
French Toast Dip
for 12 slices of French toast dip whisk together the following:
1 cup cream
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
Prepare French toast per your usual method.
We enjoy buttermilk syrup with cinnamon swirl French toast. Here is a link to that recipe. Magic Syrup Search for Magic Syrup in the list of recipe posts.