There is something to be said about Homemade Bread. I love the way everything comes together to form a perfect loaf. The way the dough smells and as this bread bakes, it sends out the most grin producing smile...you can SMELL it's going to be great! This recipe makes two loaves and YAY for that!! I sliced up one loaf for toasting and sandwiches and save the other loaf for thicker grilled cheese sandwich slices and 'texas toast' style french toast for Sunday Brunch... YUM! ~Enjoy! Diane
Basic Homemade White Bread
1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast (or approx. 1 Tbs)
2-1/4 cups warm water (water temp. according to your yeast)
3 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs salt
2 Tbs canola oil
6-1/4 to 6-3/4 cups all-purpose flour (depending on humidity)
In a bowl, dissolve a pinch of sugar in warm water (I check my water temp with an instant read thermometer) add in yeast. Place 3 cups of the flour, sugar, salt and oil into Mixing Bowl. Beat with dough hook until combined/smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough - the humidity level with depend on how much you add in total. I keep an eye on my mixing bowl, if after 3 minutes or so I see flour still on the bottom of the bowl, I add a touch more water, if I see a filmy, flour paste (wet) I add a touch more flour...after any additions I make, I let the dough have time to catch up and mix. Once the bowl is "clean around the bottom two-thirds of bowl with no trace of flour or water" I let the dough knead for another 2 minutes (about 4-6 minutes total knead time with my Kitchen Aide Mixer and Dough Hook)
Turn the dough into a lightly greased bowl (I coat my large stainless mixing bowl with Olive Oil), turning the dough ball once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.
Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide dough in half. Shape each into a loaf. Place in two greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30-45 minutes.
Bake at 375° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and bread sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.
Yields: 2 loaves
Recipe adapted from: Sandra Anderson for Taste of Home
Photos by: Diane Baker for Canning and Cooking at Home