Sometimes when I'm snowed in, I have to spend the entire day cooking so I don't lose my mind with the boredom. It is not that I don't have plenty of things that need doing around the house, but cooking is my way of blowing those off! Cooking is the the brighter side of my "dark playground" Breads and soups are staples of the housebound menu because they don't involve going to the store if you keep a decently stocked kitchen.
I had just seen an episode of Cooks Illustrated Cook's Country where they made this bread. Kurt says - "I want that!" I've got a subscription to their website, so I looked up this recipe and went for it. It turns out super crispy on the outside, which makes me love it enough to forget that it is made with all white flour. I've copied the recipe here for your use. I hope they don't mind!
- 5 cups (27 1/2 ounces) bread flour
- 41/2 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 cups heated milk (I used almond)
- Grease two 8½ by 4½-inch loaf pans and dust with cornmeal. Combine flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and baking soda in large bowl. Stir in hot milk until combined, about 1 minute. Cover dough with greased plastic wrap and let rise in warm place for 30 minutes, or until dough is bubbly and has doubled.Stir dough and divide between prepared loaf pans, pushing into corners with greased rubber spatula. (Pans should be about two-thirds full.) Cover pans with greased plastic and let dough rise in warm place until it reaches edge of pans, about 30 minutes. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees.Discard plastic and transfer pans to oven. Bake until bread is well browned and registers 200 degrees, about 30 minutes, rotating and switching pans halfway through baking. Turn bread out onto wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour. Slice, toast, and serve.