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- January 29, 2021 at 7:08 am #596291mosParticipant
Basic White Bread
1 cup milk
2 tbs butter
1 1/2 cup water, warm and divided
2 1/4-oz pkg active dry yeast
2 tbs sugar
1 tbs salt
6 to 7 cups of unbleached bread flour, approximately
Prepare the Bread Dough
Heat 1 cup of milk and 2 tbs of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from the heat when the butter is melted and set aside to cool.
Pour 1/2 cup of warm water into a small bowl. Slowly pour the yeast into the bowl while stirring. The constant stirring while adding the yeast will prevent it from clumping. Set the bowl of yeast water aside for about 5 min while working on the next two steps.
In a large bowl, add the sugar, salt, and the remaining 1 cup of warm water. Mix well.
Check the saucepan of milk and butter. If the contents are warm to the touch, pour the liquid into the large bowl and mix.
Pour the yeast water into the large bowl. It is important that the batter is warm, not boiling hot. Hot liquid, such as the milk heated up, will kill the dry yeast and prevent the bread from rising.
Begin mixing in the unbleached bread flour, one cup at a time.
By the fifth cup of flour, the dough will begin to get stiff and it will be difficult to mix it with a wooden spoon.
Knead the Dough and Wait for It to Rise
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and begin to knead the dough.
Continue adding more flour – a couple of tbs at a time – and knead the flour into the dough until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky. How much flour is used will depend on many factors, including temperature, humidity, and altitude. It’s likely that not all of 6 or 7 cups will be used.
Grease a large bowl with butter or oil — the bowl should be 2 to 3 times the size of the dough. Place the bread dough into the bowl and then turn the dough over so that the top of the dough is also greased.
Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let the dough rise at room temperature until it has doubled in size – about 1 hour.
Kneading and Shaping the Loaves
Punch down the dough.
Turn it out onto a floured board and knead out all the bubbles for about 5 min.
Divide the dough in half and form each half into a loaf by rolling the dough into a rectangle.
Roll the dough up like a jellyroll.
Pinch the seam closed, then pinch and tuck the edges under the loaf.
Final Proofing and Baking the Bread
Preheat the oven to 375°.
Grease two loaf pans. Spread a light layer of yellow cornmeal on the loaf pans, if desired.
Set the loaves in the pans. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise until it has doubled in size — about 30 min.
Bake the bread for about 45 min or until the crust is golden brown.
Remove the bread from the oven and turn out the loaves onto a rack or a clean kitchen towel.
Allow the bread to cool before cutting. Serves 12
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