A few times each year, one of my favorite restaurants in the area, Big Grove Brewery, hosts a multi-course meal with a beer pairing for each course. The food is innovative, delicious, and often involves my trying something I don’t normally eat. It’s how I’ve eaten (a little bit) more seafood than I generally like to eat, but also where I have tried bone marrow.
This summer, I attended one of the dinners with a great group of friends, and among a number of wonderful courses was a bread course. In the bread course, it featured Swedish Milk Buns which were melt-in-your-mouth good. Ever since then, I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for a milk bun recipe. I should have known to turn to the standard cookbook earlier in the process, because it’s the very first recipe in the Savoring the Seasons of the Northern Heartland cookbook.
To go with the Wisconsin Vegetable Cheddar Cheese Soup I made this week, the milk bread offered a great accompaniment. Once my bread making skills improve a little more, I think this recipe will be even better.
Old-Fashioned Milk Bread
3 c whole milk
2 pkgs active dry yeast
2 tsp sugar
7 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp salt
1 stick butter, softened
Scald the milk in a saucepan by bringing it just a boil and quickly removing it from heat. Cool to “baby bottle” temperature (105-115 degrees), pour it into a large bowl, add the yeast and sugar, and let it “proof” for about 5 minutes. Then add 3 c of the flour, the salt, and butter, and beat the dough until smooth. Add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board and knead it until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes, sprinkling with flour as needed. Then place the dough in a bowl lightly greased with butter, turning the dough so it is also lightly greased. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and allow the dough to rise for 45 minutes.
Punch the dough down and shape into 2 loaves. Place these loaves in lightly greased 9-inch bread pans and allow them to rise 1/2 inch above the pans, about 45 minutes. Bake the loaves in a preheated oven for about 45 minutes, or until the loaves sound hollow when tapped. Remove the bread from the oven, turn out of the pans, and cool on a wire rack.