Craig Allen’s Fantastic Bread
I thought that using the word "fantastic" would grab your attention! And, this simple, homemade white bread is just that...fantastic!
The common "bread machine" can make some good bread...
...but if you really want to do it right, you need to dust off your bread pans, and warm up the oven.
I've tried many oven-baked bread recipes over the years, and this "Basic White Bread" is simply the best that I have found! And, its actually quite easy.
Basic White Bread (makes 2 loaves)
1/2 C low fat milk
3 T sugar
2 t salt
3 T butter
2 packages active dry yeast
1&1/2 C warm water (105-115 F)
5-6 C all purpose flour
Place milk, sugar, salt and butter in a small sauce pan. Heat over low flame until butter melts, and sugar dissolves. Cool to lukewarm.
Dissolve yeast in warm water, in warmed bowl, of electric mixer. Add lukewarm milk mixture and 4&1/2 C flour. Attach dough hook to mixer. Use low speed, and mix about 1 minute (if you don't have a dough hook, you will need to do this the old fashioned way: mix with a wooden spoon, and knead by hand).
Continuing to "mix" on low, adding remaining flour, 1/2 C at a time. Continue to mix until dough clings to the hook, and cleans from the side of the bowl (about 2 minutes).
Knead on low for about 2 minutes more, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Dough will be slightly sticky to the touch.
Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease the top. Cover the dough. Let rise in a warm place, free from draft, for about an hour (or until doubled in size).
Punch dough down, and divide in half. Shape each half into a loaf, and place in greased 8&1/2 x 4&1/2 x 2&1/2-inch loaf pans. Once again cover, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place, for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
Bake at 400 F for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
Immediately remove from pans, and let cool on wire racks.
Aaaahhhhh.....warm, fresh bread....with lots of BUTTER....Yum!
You can thank me later.....