Homemade Thick Cut Bread for Garlic Bread and Toasting
When I came up with this recipe it was the best day on earth and I am not kidding!! This bread has all the character you want in the thick cutting bread. Crusty exterior, with a denseness that is not dry but perfectly soft to absorb butter and hold up to the challenge without getting gooey. The wholesomeness of this bread is perfect and the taste is amazing.
I wanted a bread that would not get over hard in the center like some may do when making garlic bread, had airy holes in it to capture the flavor and richness but also something I could use for a nice thick toasting bread that would complement a good ole fashion country breakfast and I will tell you this is the ticket. When I invented it I was not looking for a table bread but something that would give added flavor and still be able to tolerate heavy dosing of my 3 Cheese Garlic Spread and this is the one!!!
Breads take time to make but this recipe will have a loaf ready in about 2 hours depending on your kitchen and humidity. I had hoped to invent one that gave me minimal work but yet still had the flavor of the richer breads. My hopes became reality. I think I may have to make some as soon as I am done blogging this. My nose and taste buds are calling to me. 🙂
This is the bread I use when making my Best Thick Cut Butter Dripping Garlic Bread
Things You Will Need:
Stand Mixer – I use a KitchenAid with a dough Attachment or you can use your bread machine if you have one and do only the dough and kneading part. When it is time to rise follow along in this recipe from there. You can also do the old fashion way, and make the dough entirely by hand. YIKES!
Small Bowl Microwave Safe
Instant Read Thermometer
Wood Surface or cutting board for kneading
5×9 Loaf Pan I use a deep large pan but you can divide this dough if using smaller pans
2 Small Bowls
1 Piece of Paper Towel
- 3-4 Cups Bread Flour – I use King Arthur
- 4 Tablespoons Dry Milk – I use Carnation dry milk
- 1 Teaspoon salt
- ½ Cup Milk 2% or greater (NOT SKIM)
- 1 Jumbo Egg or 2 large Eggs
- 1 Cup Water 115° F (read below for max temp)
- 2 Packages of Active Quick Rise Yeast
- 3 Tablespoons Light Olive Oil
- ½ Teaspoon Sugar
Preheat oven to 350° F (177° C) for Convection Oven 325° F (163° C)
Take 1 Tablespoon of the light olive oil and coat the inside of your large bowl place aside
Heat the water for about 15 seconds in a microwave and test with instant read thermometer. If needed hit it again at 5 second intervals until you reach a temp of 115° F but no greater than 120° you will kill your yeast. Place the yeast in the water and stir, place in the sugar and stir again once or twice then place aside. It will start to bubble and that is what you want. You do not have to do this regularly with Quick Yeasts but I found this was the texture I needed when I was still in the testing stage of this recipe.
While your yeast is proofing, in your Mixer bowl place 2 cups of flour, the powdered milk, and salt. Use hand whisk just to incorporate the dry ingredients. Lock it in place on your mixer with Dough hook attached.
In a small bowl add the wet milk and the egg/eggs and whisk together slightly just enough to break up the egg/eggs in the milk.
Time to bring it together. Pour the milk mixture and bubbled yeast into the mixer and turn on to medium speed. Let the ingredients incorporate with each other, the mixture may be ruff and or wet looking at this point start to add more flour at ½ cup amounts until you see the dough starting to come together stop adding flour when you see it looking more of a dough and not wet, see picture below. Continue to have the dough hook do its work until you see the dough pulling away from the sides of the bowl. You may not need all the flour. I only needed 3 cups when I made this batch.
When the dough starts taking on more of a elastic smooth look but still sticky to touch let the mixer continue to knead the dough about 4 more minutes. Stop the mixer and prepare for kneading by hand.
Lightly dust your wood surface or board with flour – place dough on the surface and start to knead with lightly floured hands. Work the dough until it is soft, elastic but no longer sticky. This should only take about 4 or 5 kneads to accomplish this. You do not want to over work the dough.
Place the Dough in the prepared oiled bowl, turn it once so all side have a coating of oil on it and place plastic wrap on top of bowl. Place in a draft free warm area. I have a proofing cycle in my oven but you can also place it on heating blanket set at medium and place a towel over the blanket also one over the top, you can also use a larger bowl to cover it but still use the plastic wrap on top of the bowl. It will rise to double in 35-40 minutes up to 1 hour depending on your kitchen environment.
While the dough is rising you can prepare your loaf pan. Place 1 tablespoon of oil in the pan and coat all the sides of the pan and bottom even the rim edge. Should be a nice thin coating only, I use a piece of paper towel to get out the excess if any.
In a small bowl place the remaining olive oil with your pastry brush.
You can clean up from here except for the floured wood board since you will need this for shaping your dough when it is ready.
When your bread dough has doubled as shown in the picture below, lightly pull it out onto the floured board with lightly floured hands and press some of the air out (punching it down) you don’t want to really work it too much here. You are only working the dough enough to shape it to the size of your bread pan. I lightly flatten it with my fingers and then roll it with my hands into the shape, just enough to make a soft smooth loaf and tuck the ends in. You still want some air in it still. It will feel spongy.
Place it in your prepared loaf pan and apply using your pastry brush, the last tablespoon of olive oil. Brush lightly over the entire top without much pressure. You do not want it to stick to the plastic wrap after it has risen.
Loosely cover the top with plastic wrap and place back in warm spot to raise again.
It will have a slight dome when it has risen and extending just past the edge of the pan. About 30 Minutes more/less. If you over worked your dough it will take longer to get to this stage.
When ready, “Carefully“ remove plastic wrap and place in preheated oven and bake until lightly golden brown (almost caramel color) over the entire top about 15-20 minutes. Tap with your finger lightly to hear if the center sounds hollow. The weight of the pan should also be lighter then how it was when you first placed it in the oven. If you do not have it this color after 20 minutes keep checking it at 5 minute intervals and tap tap tap 🙂
Let cool for about 5 minutes in pan and the turn out onto cooling rack, turn it so Dome side up and let cool. The Dome may drop down a bit and that is normal see below picture. Enjoy!!