Recipe: Basic Sweet Bread Dough
What could be better than a fresh loaf of homemade bread? One that’s made with yogurt!
Basic Sweet Bread Dough
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (6 ounces) warm water
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp active dry yeast
- All of the sponge
- 3/4 cup (6 ounces) plain, low-fat yogurt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla or other flavoring , or 2 tsp citrus zest
- 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (or substitute up to 2 cups unbleached white whole wheat flour)
- 1 egg + 1 Tbsp water (for egg wash)
In a small bowl, combine the warm water and 2 tsp sugar. Stir to dissolve. Stir in the yeast and 1/2 cup flour. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until bubbly and active, about 10 to 15 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the sponge, yogurt, butter, eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla. Add the flour 1 cup at a time, mixing until the dough comes away cleanly from the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and, adding only enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to your hands or the work surface, knead about 5 minutes, until soft and pliable but not sticky. Let the dough rest while you clean and grease the bowl. Finish kneading the dough until it’s smooth, supple and springy.
Place the dough in a greased bowl, turn to coat all surfaces, cover with plastic wrap and a clean towel and let it sit in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled.
Gently deflate the dough and divide it in half. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest on a lightly floured surface for 15 minutes. Form the dough into desired shapes. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise about 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush the loaves with egg wash and bake until golden brown, about 30 to 40 minutes, to an internal temperature of 190°F. Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool on a rack. Yield: 2 loaves.
(I got this recipe from The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion.)