Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Viennese Milk Bread

I fell on this recipe by chance while looking up how to make corn bread, and decided that I had to try it. I thought it might end up being a dud, but I enjoyed this bread immensely, so much so that I had to make another two loaves the next day... and am already thinking about making it again. It is great for breakfast or mid-day snack (quatre heure as we call it in France).

Viennese Milk Bread
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup chocolate chips of your preference (or raisins, brought to a boil in water, drained and cooled)
Egg wash: 1 egg well beaten with a pinch of salt

1. Heat the milk until it feel just lukewarm (110 degrees).Whisk in the years and allow to stand while assembling the remaining ingredients.
2. Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in the work bowl of a mixer.
3. Whisk the melted butter into the yeast mixture and add to the work bowl.
4. Mix on low speed with a dough hook until the dough forms a ball.
5. After the dough makes a ball, add the chocolate chips or raisins to the dough.
6. Place the dough in a buttered bowl, turn it over so that the top is buttered and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Allow the dough the rise at room temperature until doubled about 1 hour.
7. Deflate dough, return it to the bowl, cover again and allow it to rise a second time until doubled about 1 hour.
8. Deflate the dough and divide it into 2 pieces. Round each pieces, cover with a towel and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Run a rolling pin over the center of each piece to ellongate it into an oval, then roll over the ends to point them slightly. Arrange each loaf on a prepared pan. Cover and allow the loaves to rise at room temperature until they are doubled, about 1 hour.
9. While the loaves are rising, set a rack at the middle level of the over and preheat to 350 degrees.
10. Paint the loaves with the egg wash, slash the length of each loaf to within an inch of the ends with a sharp knife.
11. Bake the loaves for about 40 minutes, until well colored and baked through.
Let cool if you have the patience!

Using this recipe I found that I added a bit more milk each time to make the whole dough stick well together. I ended up probably adding 1 to 2 Tablespoons of milk. On the other hand if you find that the dough is not forming into a ball, add up to 2 Tablespoons of flour to the mixture. Also I don't usually go for the mixer while making bread, I find it a lot more satisfying to get the dough ready by hand especially since there is no risk of it being too spongy or soft and sticking to my hands. Whichever way you prefer, the recipe is basically the same. Just make sure to mix the dry ingredients together before adding the yeast mix to them.

I am also thinking that adding marzipan in the middle of the loaf instead of chocolate chips (or maybe in addition to...) would make for an extremely delicious (and decadent) treat and I might just have to try it next time around!

This was the second batch I made and still, I almost did not have enough time to take a picture before it was devoured!

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