Friday, October 24, 2014

The Butcher, The Baker ...

Dear Reader,

We have been having some chilly and rainy fall days over here in Brooklyn, NY, but fall days in NYC are almost never wasted in my book and I love them all the same, just because they are part of the very few days that make up my favorite season. With that said, those grey days seem to be made for curling, cozying and cuddling into a favorite throw blanket and binge watching tv show after tv show, or book after book. Days like these call for something homemade and warm, like tea and a nice big piece of fluffy buttered toast. Toast! Aha! Says the brain. We shall make toast, and we shall make it chewy and soft just like the big loaves you can get at almost any Asian bakery. Have you tried them? If not, please do yourself this one great favor and go to your closest Asian bakery and buy a loaf. You can toast them, eat them plain, pull them apart - they are just pillowy and magnificent and so perfect. A statement toast, really. French pastry, I'm sorry, but you ain't got nothin' on Asian bread, a.k.a. Milk Bread, a.k.a. Hokkaido bread.
Fresh made Milk Bread for Saturday morning toast.

Here are two recipes. I have tried the NY Times version and may try the Food52 version next. I won't even attempt to write out the instructions since baking bread is quite a sensitive topic and instructions should be followed very closely.

Japanese Milk Bread Recipe - from the NY Times
Hokkaido Milk Bread Recipe - from Food52

My first batch (pictured above) came out fabulously. I baked into the night and it was well worth it. My second batch...not so much. I doubled the batch in order to get 2 loaves but something must have gone wrong. Lesson learned. If you are a fan of good bread, please make this. And make frequently.

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