This is a recipe I’ve been tooling around with for a while. I may still experiment with some other options, but I’m very happy with the way it turns out in its current iteration.
This pan bread is reminiscent of the yeast rolls you’ll get at some steakhouses, but it’s baked in a sheet and cut into thin rectangular pieces. It’s actually really great for sandwiches. It’s soft, moist, and buttery. It does take a little bit of time to make because it needs to rise twice, so get started two hours before you plan to serve. Most of that time is not on-your-feet time, thankfully.
The only real downside is that it molds very quickly, so you should either eat it within a couple of days or make sure it’s refrigerated and/or frozen before it starts to get mold spots.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 3 cups flour
- 2 packets (1/2 oz total) active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk powder
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
- 1 1/4 cups warm water (110°)
- Shortening for bowl and pan
Place 2 cups of your flour in a large mixing bowl. Add the dry milk, salt, sugar, and yeast. Combine thoroughly.
In another bowl, combine your water and eggs and beat until fully blended.
Start your mixer at a low setting and slowly pour in the liquid mixture. Once it is all added, turn the mixer up to its second lowest setting. You can do this by hand, but it’s hard going – you need to beat the dough for 5 minutes.
The dough will start to become stretchy and there will be a marked yeast smell. Pour in the melted butter and let the mixer run until it incorporates. Then turn your mixer down again – this next step will result in flour all over you and your kitchen if you leave it at a fast setting.
Add the third cup of flour a tablespoon or two at a time, allowing each addition to be fully incorporated before adding the next.
Grease a large bowl and transfer the dough into it.
Cover this with plastic wrap and set it to rise.
I like to let dough rise in my oven, but the lowest temperature setting on the oven is still too warm (and dry). Instead, I fill a deep pan with boiling water from the kettle and set it on the rack below the dough. This warms the oven just enough and keeps the air moist.
Give the dough an hour, and it will look like this:
Peel away the plastic wrap (scrape off any dough that sticks) and punch down the dough.
Grease a jelly roll pan and drop the dough onto it in equal-sized lumps. I did three rows of three. These don’t have to be perfect, because they’re going to swell into each other, but placing the dough on the pan in separate dollops will make the pieces easier to cut when they’re finished. You can also just spread the dough out in a single even layer, but there will be more cutting later.
Allow this to rise for 20-30 minutes, uncovered.
Heat your oven to 400°. Bake the rolls on the center rack for 15-17 minutes. Gently run a knife along the lines between the pieces.