Hot and humid weather calls for bread making. I've had this recipe for a while from Flagrantedelicia and have been wanting to try it for a while. We were rained in for the entire day, and with time on my hands, I decided that this was the day to try this out. Besides, the boys could help me roll the dough into balls.
I followed the recipe exactly, with the exception of using bread flour instead of plain flour and using the mixer (as opposed to rolling out by hand). I glazed with milk and water instead of egg. This is by far the best bread that has ever resulted. Soft yet dense and filling, with an appearance that I was very proud of. No wonder it's called a Party Bread. Will definitely be on my 'what to bring for potlucks' list. It uses little yeast, with a long proofing time, which chef/restaurateur once told me, is the 'little secret' behind a bread with good texture.
Bread flour 560g
Salt 2 tsp
Dry yeast 2 1/2 tsp
Sugar 2 tbsp
Milk for glazing
Sprinkle yeast into 100ml of the milk in a small bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes then stir to dissolve.
Warm the remaining milk in a pot along with the sugar and butter. Stir constantly until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool. Stir in the beaten egg a little at a time.
In the bowl of a mixer, mix the flour and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in both the yeast mixture and the milk/egg mixture. Mix on low till combined then continue to mix on medium till the dough is smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Leave in an oiled bowl, covered with a clean tea towel, place in a warm place for 1 – 1 ½ hours till double in bulk. Punch down, and leave for 10 minutes, then roll into 19 equal sized balls. Place in a greased 9” (24cm) loose-bottom pan. Place 12 rolls along the perimeter of the pan, followed by 6 rolls inside, and finally 1 roll in the middle. Cover with a towel and leave to rise for 45 minutes – 1 hour. Glaze with milk and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake in preheated 200C oven for 30 minutes till golden brown. If the rolls are browning too quickly (as mine did – my oven is small), cover with a sheet of aluminium foil.
I would suggest using the loose bottom pan if you have it. It's easier to slide the rolls out this way.