Everything in moderation, isn’t that the way, that’s why this delicious bread, is a must do in my book!
What a treat to have a Loaf of bread come out the way this one does!!! It’s funny because when working in the Esalen Kitchen as a kid, I remember them trying different recipes, to bake healthy bread, with all natural ingredients, and not to be mean but sometimes, it came out great, and sometimes just really,really, bad, we called it “Rock Bread”,because it tasted like dirt with the consistency rocks! It would’ve really gone good with my Mom’s (who did not know how to cook, but mixed up a mean Martini in her day) Homemade Vegetable Soup, which we so affectionately called “Vegetables Floating in Water”, also a great thing, to put some of that Super Delicious Rubber “Soy Meat”they were so keen on, it’s no wonder I learned to cook so young, as I was starving to death, for something that tasted, well, like food. What can I say, “Health Food”, during those early years, had not been perfected to say the least. There was a product called, and I’ll change the name to protect the innocent, lets call them Big Hanks, they were supposed to be like Hot Dogs, but made of soy, and were so bad…… “HOW bad were they?”….. that even breaded, and pan fried, the next door neighbors dog would give a sniff, and run away, with it’s tail between it’s legs, and turn, and shoot you a look like, “WTF!!!!” My Brother, Bill, and I would laugh so hard, that we could not even look at each other, without cracking up, again, and again, and it didn’t take much, to make us act this way, which, for some weird reason, was not allowed at the dinner table, and got my Mom really mad (and why was it that, my Mom and Step Idiot, I mean Dad, weren’t eating with us, they were probably waiting to put us to bed, and go get a nice, hot, meat lovers pizza!) that if we had had our own rooms, we would have been sent to them. But alas, one would get the room, and the other would be sent outside. So funny, looking back!! We were just relieved, to be away from the “food”, that it was more, a celebration, than a punishment. My poor Mom, we gave her a hard time. We were small but mighty!!! So in my constant search, for the things that taste the best in life, I made this bread, and I’ll keep working on the recipe, to make it a little more healthy,well, we’ll see. But for now, this is it, in it’s glorious tasty state. I mean let’s face it, it’s not gonna kill ya, to have a nice slice, of good old fashioned bread, if you eat the whole loaf, then, were gonna have to have the talk, but I’m pretty sure you’re (most of you anyways) all old enough to control yourselves! So, enjoy!!!
    First things first, the kitchen must be warm to bake anything, but especially bread, between 75º-85º is optimal, and your tools must be warmed if necessary, for instance, if the water to be mixed with the yeast, is supposed to be 105º-115º, then use a candy thermometer to take it’s temp, but if you pour it into a cold metal mixing bowl, your temp is going to go down, so warm the bowl with some warm tap water, empty, dry, and you’re good to go. Easy. Also to much heat, can kill the yeast, and your bread will not rise at all, so make sure you’re paying attention to your temps. This recipe calls for 1 egg, so pull it from the fridge, before you start gathering your ingredients together. Like now.

Put in a  warmed Mixing bowl:
1 package Active Dry yeast
3 TBLS. Water at 105º-115º
let dissolve for 5 minutes

Now gather your Ingredients:
1 cup skim milk at 105º-115º
5 TBLS. Melted Butter(warm not hot)
3 TBLS. Sugar
1 lg. Egg
1 tsp. Salt
Mix on low speed for 1 minute with Paddle Attachment:
Add at little at a time:
2 cups Bread Flour
Change to Dough Hook and Gradually add:
2 more cups Bread Flour
until no longer sticky,
Let ride on Bread Hook or Knead by hand for 10 minutes
Transfer to a well oiled bowl, turning once, and cover loosely with plastic wrap, or a clean dish towel.
Let rise in a warm place, for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
Punch down and form a loaf, Place in greased 9×5″ loaf pan seam side down, brush with oil and cover loosely and let rise in a warm place, for 1-1 1/2 hours, or doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 375ºF
Brush with melted Butter or Milk,
Bake on center rack of oven for 35-45 minutes.
Top should be light Golden Brown and sound hollow when thumped on the bottom, to do this, carefully,
turn out loaf into your hand, covered with a thick clean dish towel, holding the pan with a good oven mitt by good, I prefer a oven mitt with silicone in or on it, making it non-slip. If it does not sound hollow when thumped, carefully place back in pan and bake 5 more minutes.

Remove and cool on a rack. Slice and serve as desired.

And as always, Enjoy!!!
© Jennifer Green Alger 2010