This recipe is a basic traditional white bread recipe. Always, use unbleached flour (in fact, just stop buying bleached flour altogether). I use half white flour and half wheat flour for my breads. This recipe will make two loaves but can easily be cut in half to make one loaf. I cut the recipe in half and always make one loaf at a time because I love fresh bread daily.
- 6-7 cups all-purpose flour or half wheat flour (I like to sift but not necessary)
- 3 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 Tablespoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons shortening
- 4 1/2 teaspoons regular or active dry yeast
- 2 1/4 cups very warm water
- 2 Tablespoons butter melted
Lets get started. If you own a Kitchen Aid mixer, great, but not necessary. I have only had mine for a few months and I was baking bread for much longer just fine.
1. Mix 3 1/2 cups of the flour, the sugar, salt, shortening and yeast in a large bowl (or KA mixer). I like to put my yeast to the side of the bowl (see below picture) and then add warm water into yeast pile.
2. Wait 1-2 minutes to allow the yeast to activate. See (below) how foamy the yeast gets when activated. Beat with electric mixer on low speed 1 minute, or if using KA mixer use dough hook and turn on low speed. If hand mixing, scrape bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed 1 minute, scraping bowl as you go. Stir in enough remaining flour, 1 cup at a time
, to make dough easy to handle.
Knead about 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and springy.
4. Form into a smooth ball.
Place dough in a large bowl greased with shortening, turning dough to grease all sides. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place 40-60 minutes or until double.
6. Roll out the dough on lightly floured surface. About 18x9 inch rectangle. (I know, mine is never a rectangle but it works):)
7. Roll dough up tightly, beginning at 9in. side.
8. Press each end with with side of had to seal. Fold ends under loaf.
9. Place seam side down in pan. Brush loaves lightly with butter.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place 35-50 minutes or until double.
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Move oven rack to low position.