Friday, April 17, 2009
Homemade White Bread
This recipe is a lot of work (mostly waiting) but a lot of fun--and the taste makes it worth the effort.
Ingredients: 6 cups of flour (divided)
1 Tbsp sugar
2 1/2 tsp salt
1 envelope dry active yeast
2 cups very hot water (120 degrees or more)
2 Tbsp melted butter
-Combine 2 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a large mixing bowl.
-Beat in water and butter.
-Continue beating for 3 minutes at high speed.
-Add 1/2 cup flour and beat 4 minutes longer at high speed.
-Stir in 3 cups flour or enough to make a soft dough.
-Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead 8-10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic, adding flour as needed.
-Put dough in a large buttered bowl turning the dough to butter the top.
-Cover with a clean towl and let rise for an hour in a warm place, free of drafts.
-Punch dough down and knead until smooth then cut dough in half, cover with the buttered bowl and let stand for 15 minutes.
-Separate each half into thirds. Roll each piece into a rope about 10-12 inches long and then braid 3 of the rope pieces together. (you should have 2 braided loaves when finished) Place each loaf on a baking stone then cover the stones with a clean towel and allow to rise 45 minutes or until they have doubled in size.
-Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
-Bake loaves for 20-25 minutes or until they sound hollow when tapped with fingers.
-Remove from pans to cooling racks, brush with melted butter (will make dough shiny and soft).
-After completely cool, either wrap with aluminum foil or place in a freezer bag to keep fresh. Will stay fresh for 3-4 days (but usually it is non-existant around hubby after 2 days).