Sunbeam ain't got nothing on me. There. I said it. What's more, I meant it. I have stumbled upon the best recipe for old fashioned white bread. Folks, this bread is the real deal. It's simple. It's wholesome. It's the kind of food that'll send you back to a different time altogether. I could go on and on and on and on.....but I won't. I'm just going to give it to you straight so you can march yourself straight to the kitchen and get started.
Before I go any further I want to provide you with a link to where I first found the recipe on All Recipes.com. Got to give credit where it's due, you know.
4 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
3 Tbsp of white granulated sugar
2 1/2 cups warm water
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp salt
6 - 7 cups of bread flour
Dissolve the yeast and the sugar into the warm water. Take care that your water isn't too hot or it will kill off all the little yeasties. And, that's not what you want. After your yeast has proofed and your water has a nice creamy froth on top add the oil, salt, and flour one cup at a time. Once the dough has pulled together, generally around the 5th cup of flour, turn it out onto a well floured surface.
This dough is a sticky dough and I always end up adding more flour than what the recipe originally called for. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I use oil instead of lard which the recipe also originally called for. Whatever the case I tend end up using around 7 cups of flour.
Knead the dough for roughly 8 minutes till the dough is smooth. Be mindful not to handle your dough too much. Learning to bake bread calls for walking a fine line. Kneading is a wonderful tool for working out some built up frustration, but if you handle your dough too much then it can turn out tough. My grandma told me that kneading dough was a lot like learning to dance. I'm still not exactly sure where she was going with that.
Using butter, and I mean real, honest to goodness butter, lube up a large bowl. I even go a step further and butter the dough round. Then place in the buttered bowl, covered with a well moistened kitchen towel.
Here's one of the reasons I truly love this bread. It rises beautifully and quickly in little less than an hour. I've never seen a more beautifully risen bread. I'm not even sure the grammer was correct in that last sentence, but who cares? Just look at that rise!
After rising for an hour, punch down your dough and turn out onto a well floured surface.
Divide the dough in half and place into buttered 9x5 loaf pans. Let rise another hour covered with a well moistened kitchen towel. When waiting for dough to rise, I preheat my oven to 425. I leave the dough sitting on top of the stove and the warmth helps the dough rise so very quickly.
Bake at 375 on the top rack for half an hour or until golden brown on top. I often have to pop one out of the pan and check the bottom for doneness. And, often they have to go back in for a bit longer. Once they've reached your desired doneness turn out onto cooling racks.
The only thing left to do now is slice and butter.
Or, slather it with goat cheese and some sweet red onion marmalade. I swear this particular slice jumped off on its own free will and demanded those toppings. What was I to do but oblige?