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Du bon pain blanc / Good white bread

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Photo by Noah Fecks

This enriched white bread is reminiscent of eggless challah or French pain au lait. It’s a great white bread to eat on its own, as toast, and, perhaps best of all, cut into slices and left out to dry overnight for pain perdu, also known as French toast.

Yields 1 loaf

Recipe courtesy of Simon Thibault, Pantry and Palate

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) milk
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) sugar
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) shortening
  • 2 1/2 tsp (10 ml to 12 ml) yeast
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) water, room temperature
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) salt
  • 6 cups flour (1500 ml), sifted

Directions:

  1. In saucepan, warm milk and buttermilk to a gentle simmer.
  2. Remove milk from the heat and add sugar and shortening. Stir to dissolve sugar.
  3. Dissolve yeast in room-temperature water.
  4. Add 1 cup (250 ml) flour to milk mixture and blend to a smooth batter.
  5. Add salt and yeast water to batter, and mix thoroughly. Add remaining flour, 1 cup (250 ml) at a time, until dough forms a ball and unsticks from bowl sides.
  6. With flour-dusted hands, gather dough into large ball and knead. Dough will be slightly tacky at first.
  7. Place dough in a clean bowl, cover, and allow to rest until doubled in size, about 1.5 to 2 hours.
  8. Remove dough from bowl. Place on well floured surface and knead briefly.
  9. Roll dough into log, and place in greased and floured loaf pan. Cover, and allow to rise for 1 hour.
  10. Preheat oven to 204°C (400°F). Bake for 1 hour.
  11. Remove bread from oven and remove from pans. Bread should sound hollow when tapped on bottom. If not, return to oven for 10 minutes.
  12. Allow bread to cool for at least 1 hour before cutting.

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