August 16, 2011

Basic Homemade White Bread

In my last post on homemade strawberry jam I mentioned that I enjoyed it with homemade bread. I have discussed homemade bread relatively frequently in the last couple of months, but I haven't actually posted a recipe, so I figured it was about time. My family eats a decent amount of homemade bread a week, and this is the recipe that seems to work the best and pleases everyone in the household.
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 5 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon, plus 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups warmed milk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 7 to 7 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Combine the water, yeast and teaspoon of sugar in a bowl, set aside for approximately 5 minutes. To the yeast mixture add milk, butter, remaining sugar, salt and 4 cups of the flour. Turn onto a floured surface and add enough additional flour to make a soft dough (it shouldn't be overly sticky or too tough).

Knead for approximately 8 minutes. Shape dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let stand for an hour. Grease two 9" by 5" inch loaf pans. Punch down dough and roll into a 12" by 7" rectangle. Roll up dough from short side, making sure to seal ends and pinch seams. Cover pans and let rise for an hour. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 30-35 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing.

This recipe is one of the easiest I have tried. Even in my kitchen, where bread never wants to rise in the winter, this recipe turns out great. The best part is this bread is simple enough that someone who has never baked any type of bread, would be completely comfortable baking it. A great simple, homemade bread!

Adapted from Good Housekeeping Home for the Holidays page 98.

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