Party Ring Bread
|Active dry yeast package||1 Tablespoon|
|Sugar||2 Tablespoon, divided|
|Warm water||1⁄8 Cup (2 tbs)|
|Milk||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Butter||1⁄4 Pound, divided|
|Bread flour||4 Cup (64 tbs)|
1) In warm water, dissolve the yeast with 1 tablespoon of sugar.
2) Heat together the milk and 4 tablespoons of butter till warm.
3) Into a mixing bowl or food processor, pour the butter and milk mixture.
4) Add the eggs and remaining sugar, one at a time, beating well till smooth.
5) Add the dissolved yeast mixture, 1 ½ cups of flour and salt.
6) Add enough of the remaining flour, very gradually (1/2 cup at a time), to make a soft dough.
7) Use a mixer, a food processor or your hands to knead the dough on a floured board till it is smooth and elastic.
8) Shape the dough into a ball and turn it in an oiled bowl. Cover with a plastic wrap or place in an oiled plastic bag.
9) In a warm place, let the dough rise till it has doubled in volume.
10) Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead lightly once again.
11) Melt the remainder of the butter (4 tablespoons).
12) On a floured board, roll the dough out till it is about 1/3-inch thick.
13) With the help of a 1 ½ inch round or diamond shaped, or even heart-shaped, cutter, as per preference, cut the dough into rounds, hearts or diamonds.
14) Roll and cut the scraps till all the dough has been used up.
15) In the melted butter, dip each dough pieces to coat well on both sides.
16) In two greased 2-quart ovenproof souffle dishes, charlottes or ring molds, place the dough pieces in overlapping layers.
17) With a plastic wrap and towel, cover the pan and leave it in a warm place for about 45 minutes to let the dough rise.
18) Preheat oven to temperature of 350 degrees.
19) Once the dough has risen, bake it in the preheated oven for about 30 to 35 minutes, till light brown in color. The loaf should sound -€˜hollow-€™ when thumped. The doneness can also be tested by piercing the loaf with a trussing needle.
20) Turn the freshly baked bread out onto a serving plate and serve as a side dish while it is still warm and fresh. Alternatively, the bread can be frozen and stored if to be used later.