Thursday, January 21, 2010

basic white bread

Ask and you shall receive!

About 6 cups all-purpose flour, divided
3 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 package dry yeast
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter or margarine

Combine 2 cups flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in a large mixing bowl; stir well. Combine water, milk, and butter; heat until butter melts, stirring occasionally. Cool to 120 - 130 degrees.

Gradually add liquid mixture to flour mixture, beating well at high speed of an electric mixer. Beat an additional 2 minutes at medium speed. Gradually add 3/4 cup flour, beating 2 minutes at medium speed. Gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Shape into a ball, and place in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

Punch dough down; turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead lightly 4 or 5 times. Divide dough in half. Roll one portion of dough into a 14- x 7-inch rectangle. Roll up dough, starting at narrow edge, pressing firmly to eliminate all pockets; pinch ends to seal. Place dough, seam side down, in a well-greased 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan. Repeat procedure with remaining portion of dough.

Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in bulk. Bake at 375 for 45 to 50 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped. Remove bread from pans immediately; cool on wire racks. Yield: 2 loaves.

A couple of notes:

  • I did not use all the flour. I probably used 4 1/2 or 5 cups.
  • I did not use the dough hook on my mixer. I used the regular paddle beater. Next time I will probably try the hook.
  • The house was a little chilly the day I made the bread, because our programmable thermostat didn't know I was home on a weekday. So I turned the oven on 200 degrees and set the bowl/pans of dough at the back of the stove top so the heat venting and rising from the oven would warm it. This was still probably cheaper than turning the furnace up through out the house.
This recipe was out of my good 'ole Southern Living Cookbook.

Happy baking!


Jeanneoli said...

I so badly want to be amazing bread making mamma:-)

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you posted this recipe, thank you!!!