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Hawaiian Sweet Bread

hawaiian_sweet_bread

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Makes 2 loaves.
By Dennis W. Viau; modified from several recipes.

This mildly sweet bread has a tender texture and a delicate flavor. The bread is also easy to make. I used my stand mixer for added ease. My mother would occasionally buy this bread when I was a child. When someone requested it, I saw an opportunity to revisit my childhood. This is a very satisfying bread to make. It is delicious toasted.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon active dry yeast (1 packet is okay)
1 cup (237ml) warm water (110°F/43°C).
3 large eggs, preferably room temperature
1 cup (240ml) pineapple juice, room temperature
¾ cup (150g) white sugar
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup (4 ounces/1 stick/113g) butter, melted
½ teaspoon salt
7 cups (35 ounces/1kg) all-purpose flour

Directions:

In a larger bowl (the bowl of your stand mixer, if you have one) combine the water and the yeast with a generous pinch of the sugar. Mix well and let stand 5 to 10 minutes. If the yeast is alive you should see foaming on the surface after a while.

Add the eggs, pineapple juice, remaining sugar, ginger, and vanilla to the bowl. Mix well. Add the melted butter and salt and mix again.

Attach the bowl to your stand mixer (or you can do the mixing with a spoon) fitted with the mixing blade. Set the mixer at low speed. Add the flour, a generous scoop at a time, and incorporate well before adding the next scoop. When the batter begins to stiffen, switch to the dough hook and continue adding flour until a moist and slightly sticky dough develops. (You might not use all the flour. It should pull away from the sides of the bowl but still stick to the bottom of the bowl). Knead the dough about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic.

Transfer to a buttered or oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk. This could take 2 hours.

Transfer the dough to a clean surface and deflate it with your hands. Divide the dough into two equal portions and shape into two round loaves. Arrange on greased (or lined with parchment paper) baking sheets. Cover again with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, up to an hour. Heat oven to 350°F (177°C).

Cut shallow grooves into the top of each loaf to allow for expansion. Bake 40 to 50 minutes until golden. Each loaf should sound hollow when thumped on the bottom. If you have a digital thermometer, the loaves will be done when the internal temperature reaches about 200°F (93°C).

Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool thoroughly before slicing.