by Jacqueline Madison
Ever since my mother was nice enough to drag my heavy kitchenaid stand mixer, stateside to Melbourne, I have been addicted to making bread! Lastnights attempt was pain au lait, which is french for “milk bread.” I remember making these semi-rich dinner rolls in culinary school, and decided to give myself a quick refresher. Plus, braided breads are so easy, but look fantastic!
Bread making for beginners: Hello beginners. Recipe methods for breads are all very similar. If you note these key rules for bread/yeast and practice some patience you will make beautiful recipes! Yeast loves two things: warmth and sugar! When you wake your yeast up make sure the liquid is warm to the touch. The combination of the warm liquid + sugar will keep the yeast very happy as you wait for them to froth up. Killers for the yeast are salt + too much heat. For bread methods add the salt right after you add the flour. Therefore, the salt will combine with the flour and not directly effect the yeast. I hope these little key facts help.
Pain Au Lait Recipe
1 cup milk
2 1/2 tsp instant yeast
6 tbsp sugar
4 cups flour (some for dusting your bench)
2 tsp salt
8 tbsp butter (softened)
– Warm the 1 cup milk in the microwave until slightly warm to the touch.
– In a stand mixer fit with a dough hook add the milk + 6 tbsp sugar + 2 1/2 tsp instant yeast. Mix and let sit for about 5 minutes until the liquid looks bubbly on the top.
– Add 4 cups flour to the liquid and mix.
– Add 2 tsp salt + butter + 2 eggs to the mixer.
– Let the dough combine in the mixer or remove the dough and finish kneading on a bench top for about 5 minutes. Your looking for the bread to bounce back when poked.
– Shape the dough into a ball. In a warm area let the dough rest in an oiled bowl wrapped in plastic wrap. If the air gets into your dough it will form a skin (which isnt too lovely.) Leave the dough until you notice it has doubled in size.
– Remove the dough and knead it on your benchtop to remove all incorporated air.
– Shape the dough. For braided dough roll out six logs. Braid both sets of 3 logs. For dinner rolls weigh out each ball and shape into rolls.
– On a baking sheet combine both braids side by side and brush with the egg wash.
– Let sit and prove. Your looking for your braids to swell and combine together and double in size.
– Give a second egg wash and bake in the oven at 375 until golden brown. Enjoy