Wonderful Bread Dough

Circle B Kitchen

Recipe adapted from Tyler Florence

1 ¼ cups milk

3 tablespoons butter

1 package (1 tablespoon) rapid-rising dry yeast

2 tablespoons sugar or honey

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons salt

2 egg whites, divided and slightly beaten

1 tablespoon sesame seeds, optional

In a small saucepan, heat the milk with butter over low heat just until the butter melts. Remove from heat and add to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook. Proof the yeast by adding it to the warm milk and butter. Add the sugar and stir gently to dissolve. Let stand 3 minutes. Turn on mixer and gradually add the flour. When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium and add the salt and 1 egg white. Stop the machine periodically to scrape the dough off the hook. Mix until the dough is no longer sticky, about 10 minutes.

Turn the dough onto the work surface and knead for a minute or so by hand, adding a little flour if needed. Form the dough into a round and place in an oiled bowl, turn to coat the entire ball with oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Test the dough by pressing 2 fingers into it. If indents remain, the dough is adequately risen.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Turn dough out onto the counter. To form a loaf, pat the dough into a rectangle, fold the long sides to the middle then fold under the ends. Pinch the seams closed and place in a greased 9 by 5-inch loaf pan, seam side down. Make sure the dough touches all sides of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise a second time for 20 minutes or until the top of the dough is nearly level with the top of the loaf pan.

Slash dough down the middle of the loaf with a sharp knife to allow the steam to escape during baking. Brush the top with remaining beaten egg white and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake the bread for 30 to 40 minutes until crust is golden and internal temperature reads 195 degrees F when checked with an instant read thermometer. Immediately remove the bread from the pan and cool completely on a rack.