I don’t often get fancy with my home breads, but on the night before a big snowstorm, I set aside an extra few minutes to top my white bread with two hearts that were cut from the extra dough I made. The result was stunning. This is a great bread to serve at any family dinner and on Valentine’s Day.
Yield: 1 loaf
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes
- 1 cup warm water, 95 to 110 degrees F
- 2-1/4 tsp or 1 pkg. (1/4 oz.) active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup milk, room temperature
- 1-1/2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp soft butter or margarine
- 3-1/2 cups bread flour, about
- Egg white
- Poppy seeds
- In large bowl, mix warm water and yeast. Add milk, sugar, salt, and butter. Stir. Add 2 cups of flour and mix well. Add in enough remaining flour to make a dough that follows the spoon around the bowl. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, adding more flour as needed until the dough is firm and smooth to the touch. Place dough in medium greased bowl. Turn dough over in bowl so that the top is also lightly greased. Cover with clean cloth and let rise in warm, draft-free place for 1 hour.
- Punch down dough. Turn dough out onto lightly floured board and knead for 5 minutes or until the bubbles are out of the bread. Remove about 1/4 cup of bread dough and set aside. Shape dough into a loaf. Place loaf in greased, 9 X 5-inch bread pan. Roll out small amount of dough on lightly floured surface, 1/4-inch thick, and use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut two hearts from dough. Place hearts on top of loaf. Cover and let rise in warm, draft-free place for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Brush egg white on loaf. Sprinkle top with poppy seeds, avoiding the two hearts. Bake bread at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes or until bread top is golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when the top is tapped. Remove bread from pan and let cool on rack.