Its not very popular these days. White bread has taken a back seat to all the whole grain and gluten free type recipes. But my family still appreciates a good loaf of homemade white bread now and then and I won’t touch a tomato sandwich on any other type of bread. Here is my recipe. You can make some nice rolls with this dough too.
Preheat your oven to 500* to help raise the dough the first time.
Old Fashioned White Bread
*5-6 cups white bread flour. You can use plain flour, but don’t use self-rising. If you use plain flour and decide that the bread didn’t rise as much as you would like, next time, use about 3 tablespoons of vital gluten to replace the same amount of flour.
*2 1/2 cups milk, heated to about 115*F – I just heat it on the stove in a pan and I heat it til I can stick my finger in it and its very warm but not uncomfortable. Or you could use a thermometer.
*2 teaspoons yeast
*2 tablespoons sugar
*1 rounded tablespoon fat, I use lard, shortening will work
*2 Tablespoons salt. I know, it seems like a lot but if you reduce it, only reduce it by a teaspoon or so
If you anticipate your bread hanging around the house a while before its devoured, you can add 2 tablespoons powdered lecithin. Lecithin is a natural product derived from egg yolk.
Heat the milk, add about 1/2 cup of the milk to a cup and then add the yeast and a pinch of the sugar.
Add the rest of the sugar, salt, fat, rest of the milk and the lecithin if using in a mixing bowl.
Wait for the yeast mixture to get foamy. Once its foams, add it to the mixing bowl ingredients. Start adding the flour, a cup at a time, mixing until you get a soft dough. If you’re using a stand mixer to knead the dough, knead until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and leaves the bowl clean.
If you are kneading by hand, knead for 10 minutes. Don’t add more than 6 cups of flour.
After kneading, grease a large oven-proof bowl. Gather the dough up into a ball and place it into the greased bowl. Pick up the ball and turn it over in the bowl, this greases the top surface of the dough. Cover the bowl and dough with a clean cloth.
Place the bowl into the heated oven, turn off the heat and let the oven door hang open a bit.
If you’re not using the heated oven to raise the dough, just place the dough in a warm area. Allow the dough to rise til double, about 45 minutes to an hour if you’re using the heated oven and about an hour to an hour and a half if you’re not using the oven.
While the dough is rising, prepare two loaf pans by greasing them well. You can use spray oil.
Once the dough is risen and doubled in size, divide it into to equal portions. I shape each portion into a loaf by first pulling the sides of the ball down and tucking them underneath the ball, kind of like a mushroom. Then I hold the ball with the tucked ends near my palm and roll the “mushroom” on the table. This presses out air bubbles.
Place the dough into the prepared pans. Using a fork, pierce the dough all the way to the bottom of the pan 10 or 12 times all over the top of the loaf.
Allow the loaves to rise until they are about 1 inch over the sides of the pans. This can take up to two hours.
Preheat the oven to 325*F. Bake the loaves for 25 minutes. Remove the loaves from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Turn the pans over and remove the bread from the pans.
Brush the tops and sides of the warm loaves with butter, this makes the crust soft once the bread cools.
Allow to cool before storing in plastic bags.