For someone who does her own bread, and everything from scratch, I always in search for the best of the best, either in baking or cooking, and sometimes the keeper recipe, is not good any more . Test is part of the job, playing with the ingredients and the formula to take it to the higher level.
One of the things I am always trying are bread recipes, for sandwiches. My husband works in construction and I make sure that he has a good lunch and dessert in his lunch box every day.
My bread usually is based on a sourdough recipe...I love crusty bread, on the other hand my husband always complain about his crunchy dry bread, where I find myself whipping kind of luncheon salad to stuff his sandwich and make it more appetizing softer to eat.
A good Pain Au Lait bread is hard to find in North Bay, where I am used to good bread in Beirut, also my mom, makes good lavash (markouk Bread - from her I learned to do everything from scratch) its easy to find this bread in almost all the bakeries in Beirut.
I tested several recipes, some were good, but turned dry after several days.
Last week I was checking the Mennonite girls can cook blog and I stumble upon a good bread recipe called Lydia's White Buns, the recipe is rich like a Brioche Dough, but not overly rich that you cannot use it as a sandwich bread . I was very excited and had to give it a try.
I prepared a batch last night and made Michel a sandwich, and guess what, the lunch box was in the truck all day, with -27C temp outside, the sandwich survived the harsh cold weather, and stayed spongy , soft and Michel was extremely happy, he said this is the best sandwich bread he has so far.... Am I happy or what !!!!
Lydia's White Buns Bread
makes around 15 buns
2 cups of milk
2 large fresh eggs
1 1/2 tsp of salt
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter + 1/4 cup of shortening I used lard as I don't use vegetable shortening
1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
2 tbspt of yeast
6 cups of flour i used unbleached
step one: add the sugar and the yeast to the warm water dissolve and let it foam and rise.
step two: heat the milk , add the butter and lard and the sugar, stir to dissolve, and when it cools add the eggs and stir.
step three: add the yeast to the milk mixture which will cool, so it will not kill the yeast, stire then add it to the flour mixture and knead to get a nice smooth dough. Cover and let it rise for 90 minutes to two hours.
step four: punch the dough down when it rise. Let it rest again for 10 minutes, prepare your pans by either spraying them with oil, or using a parchment paper . you can oil your hands and grab a piece the size of a grapefruit then with the right hand squeeze the dough with your thumb and forefinger to get a ball the size of a mandarine, (i divided the dough into 7 buns and 8 small loaves and rolled each on the table to get a smooth round surface) cover and let the dough rest again... at least an hour and if more the better.
(I brushed the top with egg wash and sprinkled sesame seeds and poppy seeds this is optional)
Step five : bake your buns in a preheated 350F oven, I warmed the oven at 450F and when it was ready I lowered the heat to 350F and baked the buns until golden brown