Amazing what four eggs and a cup of melted butter can do for bread. I can't wait to turn the last bits into bread pudding.
This is, as already noted, not health food. It won't help your waistline either. If you're like me, and inclined to eat a slab of bittersweet chocolate on bread, this is an excellent accompaniment (though I love chocolate on a plain baguette).
The recipe comes from Beard on Bread, and makes two loaves.
You Will Need: (aside from willpower to keep from consuming an entire loaf in one sitting)
3 3/4 teaspoons of granulated yeast (not quick rise)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup warm water (abt 110 degrees F)
1 cup melted butter (!)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 cups all purpose flour
1 egg yolk mixed with 1/4 cup light cream for wash
Combine the yeast, sugar, wand warm water in a measuring cup. Stir to dissolve yeast and let proof about ten minutes. In a small bowl, combine the melted butter and salt. In a large bowl, combine the flour, eggs, melted butter, and yeast mixture (in that order). First with a wooden spoon, and then with your hand, mix until smooth. Place in a buttered bowl, turn once (it will be a sticky glob) and cover with plastic wrap and a towel until doubled in bulk. Mine took 2 hours, but it is very cold here today.
Grease two bread pans generously with butter. Divide the dough and fit into pans. Cover with a towel, and let rise again another hour.
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Before placing in the oven, brush the tops generously with the egg/cream mixture. Bake 30 minutes or until deep golden brown and sound hollow.
Cool on racks.