Instructions

  1. To make the dough: In a large mixing bowl, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together all of the ingredients to form a shaggy dough. Knead the dough, by hand (10 minutes) or mixer (5 minutes) until it's soft and smooth.

  2. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and allow it to rise for 1 hour; it'll become quite puffy, though it may not double in bulk.  

  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled surface, and shape it into a log. Place the log in a lightly greased 9" x 5" loaf pan, and tent the pan with lightly greased plastic wrap (or your favorite reusable wrap), a shower cap, or a bowl cover. Allow the dough to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until it's crested 1" to 2" over the rim of the pan.

  4. To bake the bread: Bake the bread in a preheated 350°F oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until it's golden brown. If the bread appears to be browning too quickly, tent it with aluminum foil for the final 10 minutes of baking. When done, a digital thermometer inserted into the center of the loaf will register 190°F. If you don't have a thermometer, slide the bread out of its pan and tap its bottom with your fingers: you should hear a hollow thump.

  5. Remove the bread from the oven and turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool. Cool completely before slicing. Store, well wrapped, at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Let's say you want to make this recipe right away — but alas, you don’t have any bread flour on hand. No problem: simply substitute the same weight (or volume) of unbleached all-purpose flour, decreasing the amount of milk by 2 tablespoons to account for AP flour’s lower protein level.

  • Looking for a 100% whole grain loaf? Substitute the same weight of whole wheat flour (our favorite is white whole wheat) for the bread flour called for, no other changes necessary. If you’re measuring using cups instead of a scale, use 3 cups + 3 tablespoons whole wheat flour; this will account for the fact that whole wheat flour weighs less than bread flour. 

  • This loaf is a great candidate for add-ins. Mix up to 3/4 cup currants, raisins, dried cranberries or blueberries, diced crystallized ginger, chopped dried apricots or dates, chopped nuts, etc. into the dough once it's fully kneaded and before its first rise. Alternatively, substitute 1 3/4 cups (210g) of our cranberry almond muesli for the oats in the recipe plus any add-ins. Note: we don't recommend using fresh fruit as its juice can make the loaf soggy.

  • Want to make this loaf start to finish in your bread machine? Program the machine for regular/basic bread (or your machine's equivalent). About 10 minutes before the end of the second kneading cycle, check the dough and adjust its consistency as necessary with additional flour or water; the finished dough should be soft and supple. If you'd like dried fruit or nuts in your loaf, add them at the beep. Want to make the best loaf possible? Read Successful loaves from your bread machine: 5 tips for home bakers.