my bread for french toast

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French toast for breakfast tomorrow and I am in the mood for something a little sweeter and lighter than my usual whole grain sourdough loaves.

This bread is also great for hot or cold ham and/or cheese sandwiches.

Servings:
2 loaves
Preparation Time:
prep: 1/2 hour, sponge: 2 hours, rise: 2 hours, bake: 1/2 hour
Tools
  • measuring cup
  • measuring spoons
  • kitchen scale
  • 10" bowl
  • wooden spoon
  • bowl scraper
  • cling film
  • kitchen towel
  • hands
  • oil
  • box cutter
  • wire rack

Ingredients

sponge

  • 2 oz. sourdough starter
  • 12 oz. can evaporated skimmed milk
  • 6 oz. unbleached white bread flour

yeast

  • 1/4 c. warm water (100F)
  • 1 t. sugar
  • 2 t. granulated yeast

batter

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 T. kosher salt
  • 1 T. brown sugar
  • 8 unbleached white bread oz. flour

structure

  • 4 unbleached white bread oz. flour
  • 4 unbleached white bread oz. flour

knead

  • 2 unbleached white bread oz. flour
Cooking Instructions
  1. Use the wooden spoon to stir together the sourdough starter and milk in the bowl.
  2. Keep stirring until the starter is completely dissolved into the milk.
  3. Continue stirring while slowly adding the flour.
  4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl with cling film and the kitchen towel.
  5. Let this (very wet) sponge sit for two hours until it has formed a lot of bubbles on the surface.
  6. Stir the sugar and yeast into the water until the yeast and sugar are completely dissolved.
  7. Let the yeast proof for 15 minutes.
  8. Pour the yeast, egg, salt, sugar, and flour over the top of the sponge.
  9. Stir the sponge 100 times. You will get a smooth and thick batter.
  10. Dump in 4 oz. of flour and stir 50 times.
  11. Dump in 4 more oz. of flour and stir 50 more times.
  12. Place 2 oz. of flour on your work surface and scrape the still soft and sticky dough onto the flour.
  13. Knead for 15 minutes. (Fold the extra flour into the dough until the dough is no longer sticky.)
  14. Form the dough into a ball.
  15. Pour 1 t. of oil into the bowl and coat the dough ball with the oil.
  16. Cover the bowl with cling film and the kitchen towel.
  17. Let the dough rise until it doubles in bulk. (About 1 hour.)
  18. Split the dough in half.
  19. Gently press out one half until it is about 1" thick.
  20. Fold it into thirds. Roll it up into a tight roll. Pinch all of the seams closed.
  21. Repeat with the other half.
  22. Start heating the oven to 400F.
  23. Place the loaves onto a floured surface. Lightly flour the tops of the loaves and cover with the kitchen towel until double in bulk. (About 1 hour.)
  24. Slash 1/2" deep cuts into the top of the loaves and place them in the hot oven for 1/2 hour.
  25. Cool loaves on wire rack completely before cutting.
Notes
I use both sourdough starter and yeast in this recipe. The starter is for the additional flavour and the yeast is to speed up the rising times. You can skip the sourdough starter and even use regular milk and still have a decent tasting bread, but you will really be missing out.

When using the bread for french toast, make the slices 3/4" to 1" thick; let the slices sit in the batter for 30 seconds on each side; and fry in a lightly buttered, very hot, pan. You will end up with a toast that is crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside.

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