I am HORRIBLE at making bread. Most of my experience has been in a bread maker...and it hasn’t always turned out so good.
Well, our awesome neighbors brought over some jelly/jam and I knew that we couldn't eat it on regular store-bought bread. Enter Katie the Homemaker. I know, go ahead…laugh!
Anyway, I wanted something fast and easy. I REALLY wanted wheat bread, but was afraid that our wheat flour wasn't good anymore...so white it was. Yum and OH SO GOOD with the jelly!
Here is the recipe with my changes/remarks in red:
White Bread Recipe #1
1 package yeast (1/2 tsp. of yeast per cup of flour)
1/4 cup warm water
2 tsp sugar
1 cup milk
3 tsp salt
3 tbsp butter
3 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 slightly beaten egg white
1 tbsp warm water
Method for Preparing Your White Bread Recipe:
1.)Mix the yeast and ¼ cup of warm water in a small bowl or cup. Add the sugar, then stir. Set aside and allow mixture to become frothy. (*I usually mix and put in my microwave)
2.)Place milk, salt and butter in saucepan and heat until the butter melts. Allow to cool until it is lukewarm. (*or you could be like me and just add it to the mixture below right after it is done melting. OOPS! :)
3.)Place two cups of flour in a large bowl, and add milk mixture.
4.)Beat well, then add the yeast mixture.
5.)Beat again until the dough is smooth. Add an additional cup of flour while beating. Dough should be firm.
6.)Turn the dough onto a floured kneading surface. Knead, adding flour, until dough is smooth and elastic. To test readiness, poke an indentation with your fingers. If ready, the dough will spring back, filling in the indent. ***I think part of the reason my bread usually fails, besides the bread maker issue, is because I don't knead it enough. I let it stay in my KitchenAide for a while mixing away..then I took it out and I just kneaded and kneaded for about 5 minutes.
Butter a large bowl OR just put some olive oil on top of the bread. Put dough in bowl, turning so as to grease the surface of the dough. Cover, and rise in a warm place until dough is doubled in bulk. This should be approximately 1 ½ to 2 hours.
Spray the bread pans OR Butter one large loaf pan or two small pans. Punch the risen dough down, and turn onto lightly floured kneading surface.
Form into one large or two small balls. Shape each ball into a rectangle roughly the size of the bread pan you will be using, punching out any air bubbles that you see. Shape the oval into a loaf shape, and tuck the edges underneath.
Place the loaf-shaped dough into the bread pans. Cover, and rise until double in bulk. This takes about 45 minutes.
Preheat over to 400 degrees.
Prepare your egg wash by beating egg white with water, slightly. Brush the egg wash over top of the dough. I didn’t have any eggs, so I just put some EVOO on top.
Bake in center of oven for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and take for an additional 20 or 25 minutes.
The white bread recipe is ready when it sounds hollow when removed from pan and tapped on bottom with your fingers.
Cool your white bread recipe on a rack before storing.