Sweet Custard Wool Bread
Makes 1 (8-inch) loaf
  • 2¼ to 2½ cups (286 to 318 grams) bread flour, divided
  • 2 tablespoons (24 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (6 grams) kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons (6 grams) instant yeast
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) plus 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water, divided
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons (42 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon (19 grams) sweetened condensed milk
  • Milk Roux (recipe follows)
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams), room temperature and divided
  • Custard Filling (recipe follows)
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat 1 cup (127 grams) flour, sugar, salt, and yeast at medium-low speed just until combined.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine ¼ cup (60 grams) water, whole milk, and butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until butter is melted and an instant-read thermometer registers 120°F (49°C) to 130°F (54°C). Add warm milk mixture and condensed milk to flour mixture; beat at medium-low speed until combined, 30 seconds to 1 minute, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add Milk Roux and 1 egg (50 grams); beat until combined, 30 seconds to 1 minute. With mixer on low speed, gradually add 1¼ cups (159 grams) flour, beating just until combined.
  3. Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at medium-low speed until a soft, smooth, slightly tacky dough forms, 5 to 9 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl and dough hook; add up to remaining ¼ cup (32 grams) flour, 1 tablespoon (8 grams) at a time, if dough is too sticky. (Check dough using the windowpane test; see Note.) Turn out dough onto a clean surface, and gently shape into a ball.
  4. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 40 minutes to 1 hour.
  5. Punch down dough; cover and let stand for 10 minutes. On a clean surface, divide dough into 5 portions (about 118 grams each). Roll each portion into a ball, pinching any seams closed if needed. Cover and let stand for 15 minutes.
  6. Generously spray an 8-inch light-colored metal springform pan with baking spray with flour. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper.
  7. On a clean work surface, place 1 dough ball smooth side down, and roll into a 10x5-inch oval (about ⅛ inch thick). Starting about 5½ inches from one short end of oval, using a greased pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut remaining dough lengthwise into ⅛-inch-thick strands. (It will look like there is fringe on one side of oval.) Spread about 1 tablespoon (about 32 grams) Custard Filling onto solid side of dough, leaving a ¼- to ½-inch border around edge. Fold sides of oval ¼ to ½ inch over filling. Starting on short end opposite dough fringe, roll dough into a log shape. Place, seam side down, against edge of prepared pan. Repeat with remaining dough and remaining Custard Filling, placing dough logs end to end around edge of pan. (Gently push previous logs over to create room for new logs, if needed). Cover and let rise in a warm draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size and dough holds an indentation when poked, 40 minutes to 1 hour.
  8. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  9. In a small bowl, whisk together remaining 1 egg (50 grams) and remaining 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water. Brush top of dough with egg wash.
  10. Bake until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers at least 190°F (88°C), 24 to 30 minutes, rotating pan halfway and loosely covering with foil after 20 minutes of baking to prevent excess browning. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Using a sharp knife or small offset spatula, carefully loosen edges of bread from pan. Remove sides of pan; let cool completely on pan base on a wire rack before serving.
To use the windowpane test to check dough for proper gluten development, lightly flour hands and pinch off (don’t tear) a small piece of dough. Slowly pull the dough out from the center. If the dough is ready, you will be able to stretch it until it’s thin and translucent like a windowpane. If the dough tears, it’s not quite ready. Beat for 1 minute, and test again.
Recipe by Bake from Scratch at https://www.bakefromscratch.com/sweet-custard-wool-bread/