Friday, July 11, 2008
Basic White Bread
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 packages active dry yeast (or 2 tablespoons of granules from jar)
1 1/2 cups warm water (105F to 115 F (40C to 45C) )
5 - 6 cups all purpose flour
Combine milk, sugar, salt, and butter in small saucepan. Heat over low heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves. (I do mine in a bowl in the microwave..) I stir it well to make sure. Cool to lukewarm.
Dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed bowl. Add lukewarm milk mixture and 4 1/2 cups of flour. Attach bowl and dough hook. Turn to speed 2 and mix 1 minute. Continue on speed 2, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of bowl. Knead on speed 2 for 2 minutes longer, (or more.. ) or until dough is smooth and elastic. Dough will be slightly sticky to the touch.
Place in a greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm place, free from draft, until double in bulk, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down and divide in half. Shape each half into a loaf and place in a greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch loaf pan. cover; let rise in warm place, free from draft, until double in bulk, about 1 hour.
Bake at 400F (200C) for 30 minutes, Remove from pans immeideately and cool on wire racks. Yield: 2 loaves.
(::: my risings seem to take only about 40 to 50 minutes. If a fingerprint poked into dough springs back slowly it is long enough. If it springs back immediately.. not long enough...if it stays indented...it is too long already! but, it is not the end of the world if it goes too long...I only just read that after leaving the full hour because the recipe said so.) (on the second rising let it rise only til dough is doubled in size or the sides of the loaf may begin to droop ... not that it is a problem..just doesn't make a nice shape loaf for cutting and sandwiches... straighter sides does seem a bit better for that)
(::: I have never had to add the whole 6 cups of flour... it seems it gets dry enough at about 5 to 5 1/4 where I live. )
(::: I now use 2 1/2 cups of multi grain flour and 2 cups of white flour to begin .... I add the next cup of whatever happens to be within reach... doesn't seem to make too dense a loaf with the multi grain ... either is great.) Right now I am also tossing in a small handful of extra flax seed as well.
(::: slice an end off as soon as it is not too hot to handle... slather with butter and honey...and ENJOY!! )
Until I found Lewis over at Table Bread...and this easy little recipe in my Kitchen Aid mixer recipe book....I was what I called a "yeastaphobe". Too afraid to try anything with yeast in it. Now I have done a total turnabout.... I love making bread!
Home made bread makes the best toast!! Oh, yum...!
UPDATE:: I have been wondering about the amount of yeast in this recipe and have now decided that one tablespoon is sufficient. Tested it several times and with the full amount..the dough seems to rise quickly and a bit too fluffy and then the sides tend to droop a bit. Besides... the bread slices are then too large for a toaster. So, for me now...the loaves are the perfect consistency and the perfect size if I use the one rounded tablespoon of yeast. If anybody tries this recipe... please let me know how yours turns out....