This overnight recipe makes a large loaf, so be sure to use a large, sturdy pullman bread loaf pan or a large, molded baking pan.
Make Ahead: The yeast mixture needs to rest for 1 hour. The dough needs to rise for 2 to 4 hours and then be refrigerated overnight. The dough needs to rest at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours before baking. The bread can be frozen for up to 1 week.
Servings: 1 two-pound loaf
- 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) milk
- 1/4 cup (75 grams) honey
- 1 teaspoon (7 grams) instant dry yeast, preferably Red Star or SAF
- 3 cups (420 grams) bread flour, plus more for the work surface
- 6 large eggs
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 24 tablespoons (3 sticks) unsalted butter, each stick cut into 4 chunks, at room temperature
Combine the milk, honey and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough-hook attachment, stirring (by hand) until the yeast has dissolved. Add about 1/4 cup of the flour. Beat on low speed until well incorporated. Allow this mixture to sit for 1 hour to ferment.
Add the eggs, sugar, salt and the remaining 2 3/4 cups flour. Beat on low speed until the dough forms and pulls cleanly from the sides of the bowl.
Add the butter, one chunk at a time, until it's all been incorporated and a smooth, soft dough forms. Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise to double its volume, 2 to 4 hours depending on the temperature of the kitchen.
Lightly flour a work surface. Turn the dough out onto the surface, kneading it to deflate the dough and redistribute the yeast. Shape it to fit in whatever large baking pan or dish you're using. Cover loosely with plastic wrap; refrigerate overnight.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator 1 to 2 hours before baking.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Bake until the crust is golden brown and the dough is cooked through (the interior temperature should register about 200 degrees on an instant-read thermometer), about 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Adapted from "Egg: A Culinary Exploration of the World's Most Versatile Ingredient," by Michael Ruhlman (Little, Brown and Co., 2014).
Tested by Nilar Andrea Chit Tun.
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