How to Make a Perfect Rich White Bread / CM

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4 1/4 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten (optional)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons lard
1/2 cup milk, scalded
1 cup water
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 egg yolk
3 1/2 tablespoons sugar or honey

This is a good sized loaf for the larger bread machines, but can also be made conventionally.

Cooks Note: If you want your bread to rise higher and be lighter, scald the milk. Yes, it does make a difference. There is a protein in milk (it also exists in non-fat dry milk solids) which has been proven to retard yeast development. Scalding and skimming the milk removes some of this protein, making for a lighter bread product. That having been said, you may opt to skip the scalding process if you're in a hurry, and you will still have a flavorful loaf of bread, albeit a somewhat heavier one than if you had taken the extra step.

In a small saucepan, bring milk nearly to a boil, (little bubbles will begin to form around the edges of pan). Remove immediately from heat and allow to sit without stirring or moving for about 20 minutes. A film will form on the surface of the milk. Skim this protein layer off carefully with an upside-down spoon, removing as much as possible.

Add butter, lard, salt, and allow to cool to lukewarm before adding to remaining ingredients in bread machine.

This makes a 2 lb. loaf for bread machines like the Zojirushi.

This makes a rich, tasty white bread with a nice crust that keeps well.

Bake at medium crust setting.

Submitted by: CM
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