I made two of these on Friday, one for a party I was going to on Saturday and one for us. Ours is almost gone but I cut a piece for breakfast this morning and this bread is still just as soft and fresh as it was on Saturday when we ate the first loaf. It must be something about the 4 hour soak that makes this bread stay fresh so long. I make all of our bread and this is the longest I've had a homemade bread stay just baked fresh. I'm very impressed with this recipe.
NOTE: I have a very large two paddle bread machine and the soaker rises to the top of my pan, so if you have a smaller bread machine I would make this in a Kitchen Aid of some other way so the soaker doesn't overflow in your machine.
1 heaping tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons oil
3-1/2 ounces tub butter – melted
3/4-cup powdered milk
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1-1/2 cups very warm water
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
3 heaping tablespoons vital wheat gluten(I don't have bread flour)
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
Place all the ingredients (except for the last 2 cups of flour) in bread machine in the order listed. Turn machine on just to mix well then turn the machine off and allow mixture to sit in the bread machine for 4 hours. (Mixture will take on a slight sour smell, don’t worry it’s supposed to do that)
Then add the last 2 cups of flour to the machine, select the dough cycle and turn the machine back on. When the dough cycle is finished remove the dough from the machine.
Braid and baste with egg wash…allow to rise for 30 minutes.
Baste with egg wash again and bake at 375° for 25 – 30 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 180°.