Robin's Ethereal Air Bread

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King Arthur Flour


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*For added nutrition, substitute milk for all or part of the water. But, beware; the milk will prevent the bread from rising quite as high as it does when made with water.

Dissolve the sugar in the water and add the yeast. Stir in 1/2 cup of the all-purpose flour. Let this sit for about 10 minutes to give the yeast a chance to get going.

Add the barley malt, the butter, the salt and about 3 cups of the flour to the yeast mixture. Stir this well. Add another cup or two of the flour, gradually, until you have formed a shaggy mass of dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and begin to knead it. As the dough gets sticky, add a little more flour. Depending on how humid it is outside, and therefore how much moisture your flour has already absorbed, you may need to use a bit mo

Put the dough into a bowl and drizzle a little vegetable oil over it. Coat the dough with it. This step will prevent the formation of dry patches on the dough from air exposure. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let dough rise until it has doubled in s

Grease two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch bread pans. Punch the dough down in the bowl to expel all the air bubbles. Put the dough on the counter and divide it evenly into two pieces. Form each piece of dough into a loaf and place in the prepared loaf pans. Let the l

Bake the loaves for 35 to 45 minutes, until they are well-browned and sound hollow when thumped on the bottoms, or until their internal temperature reaches 190°F. Place the loaves on a rack and brush with melted butter while still warm.

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