A Proper Viking Loaf

For months I have tried to find a good recipe for a nice loaf of bread.  I’ve tested many recipes, only to find that they didn’t meet my demands for a soft and fluffy white bread.

  • A bread that allows you to cut a perfect slice, spread butter on it, and enjoy a nice slice of Danish cheese on top
  • A bread worthy of Danish cheese, boiled shrimp, or in the toaster
  • A bread that can be used for melted cheese sandwiches or even regular school lunches
  • A bread that will disappear quickly, as the kids dig into a nice warm loaf
  • A bread that reminds me of home and my Viking roots – something my baking ancestors would be proud of

Man, it has not been an easy journey, and I had to force many less than perfect loaves of bread upon my loving and daring family.  They have been my test group, and so far I’ve only achieved 3 out of 5 stars.

My friends, look no further – I have reached the holy grail of white bread, as I mastered the rising and the baking process … and it was just as simple as my forefathers (actually their wives) had documented; milk, flour, yeast, butter, a little sugar, and patience.

I have not made this tasty and excellent bread since I worked at a local bakery in Denmark as a teenager, mainly cleaning the bakery, but helping bake during some busy weekends.

Are you ready to make some super easy and delicious bread?  Much healthier than the bread you buy in the store.  Nothing beats homemade bread.

Get your best plundering hatchet, a bottle of beer, grow a proper beard (if you can) and get ready to beat some dough into submission.  Show this dough who’s the boss!

Here’s what you need:

  • 3 teaspoons of dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1 ounce of melted butter, unsalted
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 cups of flour

The next few steps take roughly 10 minutes, and no need to rush it.  Like you’ve read in my previous baking posts, bread needs to rise and that can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 90 minutes.  It really depends on the conditions; cold or warm room.

  1. Heat up the milk to approx. 85F
  2. Pour the milk into your mixing bowl, and sprinkle the yeast over
  3. With a whisk, gently mix the milk and yeast, to remove any lumps
  4. Let the milk/yeast mixture sit for 5-15 minutes, or until it starts to foam
  5. While the yeast is getting activated, mix the flour and sugar
  6. Attach the dough hook to your mixer
  7. When the yeast is activated, add the flour/sugar mix, while mixing
  8. Add the melted butter … make sure it has cooled a little
  9. Keep adding flour, using a tablespoon, until it reaches the proper consistency
  10. The dough should not stick to your fingers, but still, be a little sticky
  11. Lift out the dough and add a thin layer of flour to the bowl, and place the dough back in the bowl.  Cover the bowl with cling film (plastic wrap) and a tea towel.
  12. Put it somewhere warm to rise
  13. When doubled in size, flour the surface of your kitchen counter
  14. Gently place the dough on the flour
  15. DO NOT knock or knead the dough
  16. Gently stretch and folder the dough
  17. Flip it 45 degrees and stretch and fold it again
  18. Shape the dough into a loaf, and place it in a flour-dusted bread baking tray
  19. Brush the bread surface with regular water
  20. With a sharp knife, make a tiny cut in the surface of the bread
  21. Sprinkle your bread with poppy seeds
  22. Cover the bread with cling film and a tea towel again
  23. Let it rest for another 30 minutes
  24. Preheat the oven to 395 F
  25. When the bread has risen, bake it in the oven for 20-25 minutes

I set my timer for 20 minutes to avoid the crust getting too dark.  You should take it out when golden.  You can knock on the bottom of the bread, to test if it is ready.  A hollow sound means it’s ready.

Take out the bread, let it cool a few minutes, and make sure your family stays clear of the bread, otherwise it will disappear too quickly.  Nothing better than nice warm bread, with butter and a slice of cheese.

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