This is what we call a “gateway dough.” It is simple, forgiving, and incredibly adaptable. That’s what makes it so dangerous. Make this dough a few times and you might wake up one morning to discover that you’ve become a full-blown bread maven.
Basic Pull-Apart Bread Dough
Makes 1 (10-inch) braid
- ⅔ cup warm whole milk (105°F to 110°F)
- 1 tablespoon (12 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 (0.25-ounce) package (8 grams) active dry yeast
- 3¼ cups (406 grams) all-purpose flour, divided
- ¼ cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine warm milk, sugar, and yeast. Let stand until mixture is foamy, about 10 minutes.
- With mixer running on low speed, add 1 cup (125 grams) flour, beating just until combined. Add melted butter and ½ cup (63 grams) flour, beating until combined. Beat in eggs. Gradually add salt and remaining 1¾ cups (218 grams) flour, beating until a soft dough forms. (Dough will be sticky.)
- Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Loosely cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F) until doubled in size, about 1 hour.