1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
4 - 4 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup softened butter
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary, basil, or herbs of your choice
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (to taste)
1. Combine the milk, butter, sugar, and salt in a microwave-safe measuring cup. Heat until the butter melts. Let the mixture cool to lukewarm.
2. Transfer the lukewarm milk mixture to a mixing bowl, and add the eggs, yeast, 4 cups of the flour and mix by hand or with a dough hook in a stand mixer to form a shaggy dough. Knead the dough until it's smooth. The dough will remain somewhat sticky, but should definitely form a ball. If dough is too loose to form a ball add 1/4 cup flour and knead until smooth.
3.. Place the dough in a greased container, cover, and let it rise for about 90 minutes, until it's puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk.
4. While the dough is rising, place the filling ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine.
5. After the dough has risen, deflate it and divide it in half. Working with one piece at a time, place the dough on a lightly floured surface, and roll/pat it into a 12" circle about 1/4" thick. Cut 3 1/2" to 4" circles with a cutter or large canning jar lid. You should have about 10 circles per half.
6. Spread the butter-herb filling on half of each circle, fold in half, and place folded side down in a lightly greased 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan. Repeat with the remaining half of the dough, filling another 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" bread pan. Shape any scraps into small rolls, butter them, and pile them into the wells of a muffin tin.
7. Cover the pan(s) with greased plastic and let the dough rise for about 90 minutes, until it's puffy and starting to fill the pan. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
8. Uncover the loaves, and bake them for 25 to 30 minutes. Bread baked in a ceramic pan will take 5 to 7 minutes longer to bake than in a metal one. Tent the loaves with foil if they look like they're browning too quickly.
9. Remove the bread from the oven; brush it with additional melted butter, if desired. Turn the loaves out of the pan, and serve warm. Store any leftovers, well wrapped, at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.
Presented by Anissa Shull, Tellico Grains Bakery