Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Rich Yogurt Bread

Makes: 2 loaves

8 to 8 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (or use half whole-wheat flour)
2 package active dry yeast
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1 2/ cups plain yogurt
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
4 eggs

In a large bowl, whisk together 3 cups of the flour with the yeast, sugar, salt, and soda. heat the yogurt, water, and butter in a saucepan over low heat until the butter melts; the mixture should not be allowed to simmer. Add the yogurt mixture to the flour mixture and blend well. Add the eggs, mix well, and then beat vigorously by had or using the stiff hook of an electric mixer at medium speed for 3 minutes. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a stiff dough, approximately 5 cups.

Knead the dough on a floured board (or work it in an electric mixer with a dough hook) until it is smooth and elastic - about 5 to 10 minutes. Place in an oiled bowl and turn the dough over to oil the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place about 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in bulk.

Punch down the dough and divide it in half. At this point you may wish to add cut-up dried fruits, cinnamon, or nuts. Form 2 loaves and place each in a well-oiled 8x4-inch loaf pan, cover, and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and bake the loaves for 25 to 30 minutes, until bread is a rich golden brown. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks.

Recipe from: Stonyfield Farm Yogurt Cookbook

Reader comment: This is an easy, rich-tasting bread that is especially delicious right out of the oven with honey or preserves. My kids clamor for it. The recipe is very versatile, and since it makes two loaves, it's easy to experiment with it, though we love it as is. Add dried fruits, cinnamon, or nuts to the dough, or roll it up with a cinnamon-sugar filling. Or make it into rolls with a cream-cheese filling - delicious! - Carol Forcum - Marion, Illinois

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