Monday, January 11, 2010

sweet greek bread

When it is cold outside I want to bake.  Today it was one of my favorite breads.  This bread doesn't last long at our house. I hid a couple loaves in the kitchen because it makes amazing french toast.  Any guesses to what I am having for breakfast tomorrow?  Yep, as long as the hidden loaves stay hidden till then.

Sorry Amy you will have to save this one to make later unless you substitute the butter for dairy free margarine or oil. If you use oil only use 5 Tablespoons, half a cup would be too much. You would also need to use water instead of the milk. I have made it with water and oil before and it turns out just fine.

Sweet Greek Bread

½ cup butter
1 c milk
3 eggs
6 Tablespoons honey (might as well make it ½ cup)
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons yeast
4 – 5 cups flour

Heat the butter, milk, and honey to 110 degrees. If you don't have a candy thermometer to check it you can melt the butter and honey in a glass measuring cup in the microwave for about 80 seconds and then add the milk to it. This doesn't quite get the temperature to 110 degrees but it should be warm enough to activate the yeast. Dissolve the yeast in the mix and set for about 10 minutes (until frothy.)

Mix in the eggs and vanilla. Add 4 cups of flour and mix. Continue to kneed in ¼ cup of flour at a time until you have a nice dough ball. I can tell when I poke the ball with my finger it sticks to the dough. But when I pull my finger away it doesn’t have dough stuck to it.

Let the dough rise for about an hour (it will double in size.)

Punch the dough down and divide into 6 portions.

Shape the dough into loaves, place on baking sheet, cover, and let rise in a warm place for an hour (it will double in size again.) I will turn the oven on for a minute or two then turn it off and open the door to let out some of the heat. When the heating element is no longer glowing I place my dough in the oven and close the door. Don’t forget to take the dough out before you preheat the oven.

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees and bake for 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown.