Recipe: Eggless White Bread using Milk [Joy of Cooking Recipe]

I used to be scared of working with yeast or making bread at home.  In fact, I was petrified.  Did not know how yeast would work.  Thought making bread was too much of a work.  Was not confident at all to even try it at home.

But one day I thought of getting over my fears of yeast and making bread from scratch.  I bought Fleischmann's active dry yeast, followed the bread recipe from the book Joy of Cooking, and never in my dream could have imagined baking bread at home was so satisfying! 

The smell of freshly baked bread was so divine.  And I realized yeast was really not a big deal.  Neither is baking bread at home so difficult.  And since then, I never bought home any kind of ready made bread from store.

Eggless White Bread Joy of Cooking Recipe
Eggless White Bread - Joy of Cooking Recipe
What you will find in this post?  The recipe for a white bread without egg, some tips, some before-after photos to show the differences, some common questions that I had, and some of my understanding about baking bread.  Don't let the lengthy post, tons of pictures, and lots of explanations scare you.  Don't let yeast and bread baking scare you.

In fact, don't let anything scare you.  Try everything as an adventure.

freshly baked homemade bread
freshly-baked homemade bread (with hummus)

Eggless White Bread Recipe, using Milk
Source: Joy of Cooking
Yields: two 9x5” loaves of sandwich bread

In a saucepan, combine the following ingredients and heat until warm (105oF-115oF) but not boiling:
1 cup milk
1 cup water
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp oil (I used Wesson canola oil that I use for baking, cooking, frying)
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp salt
combine milk, water, sugar, oil, butter, and salt in a saucepan
In a large bowl, combine the following and keep in a warm place for 10 minutes until yeast dissolves and proofs:
¼ cup warm water (105oF-115oF)
1 package (2 ¼ tsp) active dry yeast
[I kept it in smaller bowl because to show the before and after photos of how yeast changes]

eggless bread recipes with yeast
to proof yeast
Using the scoop and sweep method, keep the flour ready:
6-6 ½ cup all-purpose flour
For a healthy(ier) bread, you can even replace half of the all-purpose with whole wheat flour.

Once the milk mixture is lukewarm (in the saucepan) and the yeast is proofed (in the large bowl), add the lukewarm milk to the dissolved yeast, stir a little till mixed.

eggless white bread using milk
blend yeast mixture with lukewarm milk mixture
Then add 3 cups of flour and fold in.  Then add 3 more cups of flour.

add flour to the yeast+milk mixture, gently mix by folding in

If you have a bread making machine or a KitchenAid stand mixer, beat the first 3 cups of flour in the milk + yeast mixture for a minute, then work in remaining 3 cups.

Toss the dough onto a lightly floured surface (remember you still have ½ cup flour left).  Even if the dough feels sticky, just keep kneading it, adding a Tbsp of flour each time.  Don’t add too much flour or the bread will not turn out good.

Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, and no longer sticks to your hands.
knead sticky bread dough on lightly floured surface
knead the sticky dough on a lightly floured surface
FIRST RISE: place the dough in a lightly greased bowl (oil/butter does not matter).  Now flip it, so the greased part faces you, and the opposite site can get greased too.  Cover the bowl with cloth, keep in a warm place (75oF-85oF) for at least ONE HOUR, and let rise until it doubles.
Do you know why you must put bread dough in a greased bowl or why you must put oil or butter on the bread dough before letting it rise?  I think, it is for 2 reasons: a) so that after the bread doubles in volume, instead of sticking to the bowl the grease makes it easier for the dough to come out; b) to avoid the dough from drying up on its outer shell.  Correct me if I am wrong.

bread dough first rise
bread dough - first rise
After the FIRST RISE, put the expanded dough onto the surface, and punch.  Take out all your frustration on the dough and punch.  No, just joking.  Punch lightly only to deflate.

punch the bread dough on the same very lightly floured surface
If time permits, give it a SECOND RISE by placing in the warm place again, covered, for another ONE HOUR until it doubles.  Otherwise, divide the dough in half, shape into TWO loaves and place in greased 9x5” loaf pans.  Cover with the cloth and let rise again until almost doubled in bulk.

If you want to make French bread or baguette instead of bread loaf, divide the dough into TWO portions.  Using a rolling pin, roll each portion separately (just like you make roti/chapati/phulka) to the length and width you like, no need of measurements here.  Then using fingers, roll each portion from one corner to the other.

rolling the bread dough
SCORE the surface, which means using a clean blade or knife, make inclined cuts across just the top of the bread.

Why should you score the bread before baking?  Two reasons: a) when the bread expands, the pressure might tear the crust in strange patterns, there is nothing wrong with it though; and b) for decoration, looks nice, and if you want to serve as bruschetta, the scored lines help you cut in those sizes.

Place the rolled dough on baking sheet, cover with the cloth and let rise again until almost doubled in bulk.
bread dough - second rise
Preheat the oven to 450oF.  Brush the visible sides of the rolled and doubled dough with butter or milk.  If you can use egg at home, brush with egg wash for a shiny, golden crust.  I used milk.  Bake the bread for 10 minutes at 450oF, then reduce to 350oF and bake about another 25-30 minutes.

brushing the dough with butter or milk before baking

Bake until the CRUST (which is the top visible part of bread) is golden brown and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.  Just 5-10 minutes before the end of baking, or at least while fresh and hot from the oven, brush the visible sides of the loaves with butter or milk.

Why should you brush the bread with butter or milk before and/or after baking?  Two reasons: a) for a golden-brown or brown color; b) butter (after baking) for a glazed crust instead of using egg wash.  Any other reasons you are aware of?


French Bread or Baguette
French Bread (or baguette)
Remove bread loaves from the baking sheet and cool on the rack.

fresh baked egg less homemade white milk bread
fresh-baked, egg less, homemade bread
Have your fresh, eggless, homemade bread with your morning coffee, or with a soup alongside, or make a sandwich if you made a loaf, or have your bread with a spread like guacamole, hummus, or may be just jam.

Enjoy.
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7 comments:

  1. What lovely clicks, its so self explanatory :) beautifully bakes bread. I am awe of your step wise with style... too good

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  2. wow superb post dear... lovely bread...n make bookmarked... thanks for sharing...

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  3. Great tutorial. Nisha I have a doubt about my oven, I have a no name brand oven in the company provided accomodation here. It has three settings for the oven one for top heating , the other for the bottom coils to heat and another showing rays coming off the top heater grid so I assume its for grilling. There is nothing showing how both top and bottom can be switched on at the same time. The booklet with the oven is as good as useless. Can we bake using only one side on? I have bought a cake mix box, but I am hesitating to use it. Thanks for the great tutorial.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Fathima, I think I know what you mean.
      Once I baked brownies at a friend's house with this kind of oven. Using the top heat caused brownies to brown/burn a little more at the top. So we figured using only bottom heat was enough to bake. I believe the top heat is to broil. So to bake your cake mix you might want to go ahead with only the bottom heat setting.
      P.S.: I would probably leave the oven on top heat for 10 minutes, then continue to bake with the bottom heat...just to be sure of even heating. Tell me if your cake turns out good!

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  4. Very interesting post.. i love baking bread too! Isnt it an addiction??! :) Loved the step-wise pics esp the pow-wham one! :D

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    Replies
    1. Yes...baking, in general, really is addictive Nandita!
      Thanks :)

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  5. Wow great post I will try looks nice

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