· 3 1/2 – 4 cups BREAD flour best if it is 11-14% protein
· 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons – 1 1/2 cups warm water (110-115F degrees)
· 2 tablespoons sugar
· 1 packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp yeast if you are scooping from a container)
· 1 tsp kosher salt
· 4 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
1. If using Active Dry Yeast, you must proof the yeast first. Add the Active Dry Yeast, sugar and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water in a bowl of a stand mixer.
2. Using a whisk or spoon, mix and set aside for 5-10 minutes or until the yeast has bubbled quite a bit.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook (this would be the same bowl your yeast mixture is in) add in 2 cups of flour and remaining cup of water. Start off on low. Mix for 4 minutes. Add in the salt and the remaining flour 1 cup at a time and mix for 5-6 minutes until the dough is slack (see notes). At this point, your mixer should be at medium speed. If your dough, after 5-6 minutes is not slack add in a bit more water (2-4 tablespoon). The additional water will fully depend on how humid your room is.
4. Add in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time and mix until almost fully melded in before adding the next tablespoon. In total, mix for 1-3 minutes or until the dough comes back together. Remove from bowl and transfer to a greased, covered bowl until doubled in size. ~1 hour.
5. Punch the dough down and place on a very lightly floured board or countertop. Divide into 4-8 pieces and shape, hoagie style. I would advise using as little flour as possible when shaping these. The more flour you add, the tougher the hoagies will be. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet and cover with lightly sprayed plastic wrap. Allow to rise again until almost doubled. ~30-45 minutes. Do NOT overproof them otherwise they will fall flat.
6. Preheat oven to 375 F. If you want to slash your bread tops do so now. If desired, brush with coating of choice (see notes) and bake for 16-23 minutes or until golden brown. To ensure doneness, test the internal bread temp. It should be at 200F.
7. Allow to cool before cutting with a bread knife.
Depending on the type of bread flour as well as how humid your kitchen in you may need to increase the water to 1 1/2 cups (which is only another 2 Tablespoons more than originally). At times I have had to go up to 1 3/4 cups total but that was due to how humid my house was at the time.
SLACK DOUGH Slack dough means when then dough cannot hold a shape; it has no elasticity or spring back at all. It is wet dough but not too wet. It is “billowy”. The dough is super, super soft and smooth.
COATING YOUR BREAD
· Whole egg: this will give your bread a sheen and color.
· Egg Yolk: this will give your bread color and will help brown it.
· Egg White: Will give you a firmer crust.
· Milk: will give your crust color
· Butter: will make your crust softer and richer
Mindy L. Stedem