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Milk Shokupan (Japanese Style White Sandwich Bread)

Milk Shokupan (Japanese Style White Sandwich Bread)

Makes one 1 1/2 pound loaf

2 1/4 cups bread flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 packet (1/4 ounce, 7 grams, or 2 1/4 teaspoons) instant dry yeast
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
8.5 ounces warm milk (120 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit)

1. Mix the half of the bread flour with the sugar, yeast, and salt in a large mixing bowl.

2. Add the warm milk, and blend, then mix in the remaining bread flour until incorporated. In a mixer, using the dough hook attachment, knead the dough for 5 minutes. Alternatively, knead the dough on a floured surface until the dough is smooth and elastic.

3. Cover the dough and let it rise until it doubles in size (about 1 hour).

4. Roll the dough out into a rectangle about 8 inches by 14 inches on a smooth, greased surface with a greased rolling pin (the dough will be sticky).

5. Fold over the short ends slightly, and roll up the rectangle, then place the roll, seem side down, in a greased bread loaf pan.

6. Cover the dough and let it rise in a warm place until the dough has risen to about 3/4-inch above the top of the bread pan.

7. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 390 degrees Fahrenheit.

8. When the dough is ready to go into the oven, brush the top of the dough lightly with some milk, then bake it in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes (the top of the loaf should be golden brown and sound hollow when tapped lightly on top). Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool for a couple of minutes and then gently remove the loaf from the bread pan and let it cool completely on a wire cooling rack.