Pilsner Sandwich Loaf (makes 2)

Pilsner Sandwich Loaf (makes 2)

Do you remember the days when it was easier to go to the store than to bake bread? Those were good times. We will get back there soon, I promise. For now, we will be baking bread in our pajamas and failing to social distance from carbs because the store is a war zone and sort of scary in a way we can’t really identify. 

It’s in the way that people jump back when you get too close to them. Maybe it’s the virus or maybe it’s the more casual approach to hygiene we’ve all taken in the past few weeks. Either way, it’s a reminder than social interaction is not what it used to be. And I miss it. I miss bars and restaurants and crowds and traffic and airplanes and humans. 

For now, we will see each other and wave from behind a screen to keep each other safe from our germs. Let’s bake bread and drink carbs and remember that this is not the new normal, this is a phase and it will pass. Some day we will tell the tale of the time we lived through the virus and we won’t mention how much we ate or drank because it won’t be important to our story of survival. But for now, it’s a very important part of our survival. 

Pilsner Sandwich Loaf (makes 2)

Ingredients

  • 6 cups (720g) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup (60g) brown sugar
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons (one packet) rapid rise dry yeast
  • ¾ cups (6oz) beer (pale ale, pilsner, wheat beer, lager, nothing too hoppy)
  • 6 tablespoons (84g) butter
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (270g) whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • egg wash 1 egg plus 2 tablespoons milk, beaten
  • Coarse salt

Instructions

  • In a stand mixer stir together the flour, brown sugar, and yeast.
  • Combine the beer, butter, and milk, heat to 120°F (always defer to the liquid temperature listed on the package of yeast, regardless of what the recipe says. Your yeast package says 105°F? Heat the liquid to that temperature.)
  • Add the warmed liquid to the stand mixer, mix with a dough hook until combined, add the salt. Mix for 6 to 8 minutes or until the dough comes together and starts to gather around the blade (dough will still be soft and slightly sticky).
  • Oil a large bowl, add the dough to the bowl (this works best with wet or oiled hands). Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  • Grease two (8x4) loaf pans.
  • Cut the dough in half
  • Gently form into rectangles, do not use a rolling pin, just pull and shape with your hands to preserve the air bubbles.
  • Roll the rectangle into a log. Place each log into a prepared pan, seam side down.
  • Cover the pan, and let the dough rise for 45 to 60 minutes, or until it starts to rise just over the top of the pan. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Brush the top with egg wash, sprinkle with salt.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

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