4 in 1 Soft White Bread

This 4in1 brioche style bread recipe has a beautiful thin crust and delightfully soft centre. It holds it’s shape when sliced, whilst still being light and fluffy.

Dough can make:
1 Sandwich loaf, 2 low rise loaves, 8 hamburger buns, 12 dinner rolls.
You could even say it has 5 possibilities as the loaves would make perfect panko.

Baking your own bread is not the easiest thing to get right (unless you have a bread maker). Even with the most exact recipe, variations in temperature and humidity in the air, can alter the outcome.
Don't let this put you off! Being able to bake bread, even if it's not completly perfect, has a wonderful sense of achievement about it. If I had given up the first time I made a less than average loaf, I would have made exactly one loaf. Good bread everytime, comes with practice.
I do find it helpful to know a few basics of yeast behaviour though.

Yeast is quite fussy about temperature and will be more active when warmer. However, yeast will die at around 55°C/130°F so unless you have a thermometer (and I don't), it is difficult to gauge exact temperatures.

Step one involves reactivating our dry yeast, the optimum temperature of the water is 40°C-45°C (104°F-113°F) for this step.
Since body temperature average is 37°C/98.6°F you want the water to feel just warm against your skin.

In step five, we want the yeast to multiply. This is best done at a slightly lower temperature of around 35°C.
Although this is easily achieved on a midsummer's day, it is unlikely you will find me baking bread at that room temperature.
By placing the bowl near a warm oven or other heated surface, you should get enough heat for a quick rise (about 30 minutes). Dough will still rise at lower temperatures but at a slower rate.

Soft White Bread

12g dry yeast (3 teaspoons)
4g caster sugar (1 teaspoon)
125mls warm water (½ cup)
125mls milk (½ cup)
1 large egg
30mls vegetable oil (6 teaspoons)
12g caster sugar (3 teaspoons)
½ teaspoon salt
450g plain flour (3 cups, firmly packed)
15-20g butter (1 tablespoon)

1•Place yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar in a small bowl and gently whisk in warm water. Set bowl aside in a warm place for five minutes or until mixture bubbles into a froth on top.

2•In another small bowl or jug whisk milk, egg, oil, salt and remaining sugar together.

3•Combine both mixtures and in a large bowl/standing mixer, mix flour with wet ingredients until mixture begins to come together.

4•Using your standing mixer, knead for about 4 minutes on low speed.
If you are kneading by hand, 10 minutes on a floured bench or dough board.
Dough should be smooth and elastic.

5•Return dough to bowl, cover with a tea towel and set aside in a warm place to rise. Dough should double in size within an hour. See notes above.

6•Turn the dough out onto your clean, floured surface and and work it into:
For sandwich loaf - One large log.
For two low rise loaves - Cut log into 2 equal portions using a sharp or serrated knife and shape each pieces into logs.   
- Place each one in a lined or lightly greased loaf tin.

For small dinner rolls - divide dough into 12 equal portions.
For hamburger rolls - divide dough into 8 equal portions
-Roll each portion into a ball and place into a large baking dish, evenly spaced.

7•Preheat oven to 190°C/374°F.
Allow dough to rise (proof) for about 30 minutes before baking.

8•Melt butter and brush over the top of each loaf.
Sandwich loaf: use a very sharp knife to cut a shallow slit, lengthways along the centre of the loaf (this allows for extra rise) and add 5 minutes extra to bake time.

9•Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool at least 5 minutes before removing from tray.


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