It’s the holidays. Everything needs a bit of added sweetness. This bread is hardly traditional to any particular ethnic root. A little bit babka; a little bit Portuguese sweet bread. It’s a No Knead version of a crusty loaf that fits into a busy cook’s schedule during this often hectic season.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. instant yeast
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/3 cup sugar
2 TBS butter
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
1. Put the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Whisk to combine.
2. Melt the butter in a glass bowl in the microwave. Add the milk to the melted butter. Then whisk in the eggs.
3. Add the wet to the dry ingredients. Mix with a wooden spoon to combine.
4. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand on the counter (or tucked in a microwave) for a couple of hours.
5. At this point, put the bowl in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight. The dough can easily stay in the refrigerator for a day or two before you use it.
6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator a couple of hours before you plan to use it. Then put in on a floured surface and form it into a ball. Let it rest for 45 minutes to an hour.
7. In the meantime, 45 minutes or so before you plan to bake the bread, put a Dutch oven with a heavy cover into a 425 degree oven to heat.
8. Remove the Dutch oven and put the bread dough in the pan. Return to the oven for 30 minutes. Remember that you’re dealing with a very hot pot. Use potholders!
9. After 30 minutes, uncover the pot. Bake for approximately 8 to 10 minutes more. Keep an eye on it. Since the dough contains milk, sugar and eggs, it has the tendency to burn. An instant read thermometer should read 200 or just slightly less when done.
10. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Don’t be tempted to cut into it for at least an hour.