Monday, June 9, 2014

Homemade White Bread

Homemade bread is one of my very favorite things to eat.  I can remember when I was growing up my mom would make bread and give each of the six kids a small amount of dough to make their own loaf.  We each got a small loaf pan and we were responsible for shaping it and making sure that it was put in a warm place, then we were in charge of checking it when it was done rising.  We would put our loaf pans on the hearth around our big black pot-belly stove in the family room.  I love that memory.  I found this recipe here  it makes 4 loaves plus a little extra for fry-bread or as the author of the blog calls them 'scones'.  I halve the recipe and it makes 2 large loaves and 1 small loaf, which is just the right amount for my family, sometimes if I'm feeling generous I will give the small loaf to one of my neighbors.
When mine are finished baking I like to take a stick of butter and rub it on the tops of the bread, no need to melt the butter, just take the whole stick and go to town!  (You aren't going to rub the entire stick of butter on to the top - although who am I to tell you how to live your life - just enough to give the tops a nice buttery glow.)

1 1/2 Tbsp. yeast
3/8 c. warm water
1/2 tsp. sugar
2 c. very warm water
1/2 c. powdered milk
1 Tbsp. salt
1/2 c. oil
2 eggs
1/4 c. sugar
7 1/2 c. flour

1.  Stir together the yeast, 3/8 c. water and 1/2 tsp. sugar; set aside to allow the yeast to activate.
2.  In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the 2 c. water, powdered milk, salt, oil, eggs, 1/4 c. sugar and 3 1/2 c. flour.  Mix together for 3 minutes on medium speed.
3.  Add the yeast mixture and the remaining 4 c. flour.  Knead for 5 minutes in the mixer or my hand for 10 minutes until you have a smooth and elastic dough.
4.  Transfer to a greased bowl (turn dough to coat all sides), cover and allow to rise in a warm spot for 1 hour or until double in bulk.
5.  After the dough has doubled punch it down and shape into loafs.  Place in greased loaf pans, cover and allow to rise for an additional hour.
6.  Preheat oven to 400.  Bake for 10 minutes then lower the oven to 350.  Bake and additional 15-20 minutes.  Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes then turn out onto cooling racks.

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